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Romberg test

Romberg test is a test used in an exam of neurological function for balance, and also as a test for drunken driving

 

Ask your patient to stand and close the eyes. Hold the position is for 20 to 30 seconds. If the body begins to sway excessively or the patient loses balance, the test is considered positive for an upper motor neuron lesion.


The essential features of the test are as follows:

  1. the subject stands with feet together, eyes open and hands by the sides.
  2. the subject closes the eyes while the examiner observes for a full minute.

Romberg's test is positive in conditions causing sensory ataxia such as:

  • Vitamin deficiencies such as Vitamin B12
  • Conditions affecting the dorsal columns of the spinal cord, such as tabes dorsalis (neurosyphilis), in which it was first described.
  • Conditions affecting the sensory nerves (sensory peripheral neuropathies), such as chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP).
  • Friedreich's ataxia