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The Waiting Room: neurological observations made outside the movement disorder specialist’s consulting office


The neurological examination should always begin before the patient enters the doctor’s office. Movement disorders in particular lend themselves to a spot diagnosis. In today’s busy buzzing world, it seems wasteful not to make use of the various diagnostic clues that can be picked up readily while the patient is still in the waiting room. We present several illustrative examples, drawn from the literature and from our own experience. These are divided according to the different waiting room ‘stages’: the patient sitting in the waiting room, the response on being summoned to enter the consulting room—including rising from the chair, exchanging initial pleasantries and the way of walking. We also discuss the importance of paying attention to the patient’s behaviour, clothing, posture, breathing patterns, facial expression and major gait abnormalities.

  • clinical neurology
  • examination
  • movement disorders
  • waiting room

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