finger-nose test

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The finger-nose test assesses upper limb co-ordination.

The patient is asked to touch his nose with his finger and then to touch the examiner's forefinger at full extension. When the patient's eyes are open the examiner moves his finger to alternate positions. The patient repeats the process of touching his nose and then the examiner's finger as quickly as possible.

Next the examiner maintains his forefinger at one location and the patient repeats the process, first with eyes open and then with them closed, as quickly as possible.

Interpretation of results: the examiner is looking for intention tremor - no tremor at rest - and past-pointing - the patient's finger overshoots the target. These are signs of cerebellar disease.

Last reviewed 01/2018