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Brown-Séquard Syndrome

Synonyms

Definition

Brown-Sequard syndrome is a neurological condition in which, as a result of a lesion affecting one half of the spinal cord, there is paralysis and loss of proprioception, vibration, and fine tactile discrimination on one side of the body and loss of pain and temperature on the other.

Current Knowledge

To fully appreciate this syndrome, it is helpful to understand some basic anatomy of the spinal cord. Recall that the lateral corticospinal tract, which carries voluntary motor impulses originating in the cortex, descends in the lateral portion of the cord after having crossed the midline (decussated) in the medulla. On the sensory side, fibers that mediate position sense (proprioception), fine tactual discrimination (stereognosis), and vibration enter the cord through the dorsal nerve roots and, without synapsing, travel up the same side of the cord from which they enter (via the posterior columns or lemniscal