Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Past Pointing Mnemonic

Hi everyone !
So this is another short post about 'Past pointing'. I hope you don't consider it pointless to discuss this. (I know, play along.)
There are a few tests called 'Finger-Nose-Finger' test and 'Finger-Nose' test. These detect how controlled and precise your movements are.
Say, for example , I ask a patient to touch my finger (which I place directly in front of him), then touch his own nose and touch my finger once again.
A normal person should be able to do this correctly and accurately.
However, in lesions of at least 2 structures of our body , the patient's finger overshoots the examiner's or can't seem to reach it correctly.
This is called 'Past Pointing' , as the patient shoots past the destination point.
2 important lesions where you get this are :
1. Cerebellar
2. Vestibular
So, in a Cerebellar lesion things are very straight forward.
You'd get pastpointing only on the side of the lesion as only that side has become stripped from the cerebellar control. The other side has intact Cerebellar control.
Cerebellum = Same side Past Pointing.
Cerebellum is Single and Lonely
The Vestibular System defects are slightly more complex and also very controversial. So irrespective of which side you try, you'd get Bilateral past pointing in a Vestibular lesion.
Such a pastpointing is generally more prominent on the side of the Slow Component of the nystagmus produced (Whatt?). Yeah. Also, the Slow side of nystagmus and the side of past pointing are also the same as the side to which you'd lose your balance in a Vestibular disorder !
So Remember :
My SLOW Vestibular friend FALLS to pointy end but can Swing BOTH ways .
So Slow Component of nystagmus , and Falling during gait testing would be present and Pointing would be towards the same side too.
But Past Pointing can Bilateral (Swings both ways).
Hope this helps. Let me know how I can improve it!
Happy studying ! :)

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