Evaluation of the nervous system begins with an accurate history and general physical examination, followed by a neurological examination. There are a number of specific physical tests that can be carried out to evaluate the functioning of the various components of the nervous system. These include tests of various reflexes, muscle function and control, and posture and gait.
Laboratory tests are often needed to diagnose the specific problem. Common laboratory tests include blood tests, urinalysis, fecal tests, analysis of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), x-rays, contrast x-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and evaluation of the electrical activity of the brain, peripheral nerves, and muscles.