Sign, Lhermitte
Sudden transient electric-like shocks extending down the spine triggered by flexing the head forward. Due to a disorder such as compression of the cervical spine (the portion of the spinal cord within the neck). One patient who experienced Lhermitte sign wrote that: "Looking down to sign a hotel register, I felt a spasm like an electric current move along my back from the base of my skull to my toes. Every time I repeated the movement, the spasm recurred." The causes of Lhermitte sign include multiple sclerosis (MS), radiation damage to the spinal cord), cervical spondylosis (degeneration of the disc spaces between the vertebrae), herniation of a cervical disc, a cervical spinal cord tumor, and subacute combined degeneration (caused by vitamin B12 deficiency). Shocks radiating up the spine are sometimes referred to a reverse Lhermitte sign. The sign is named for a French neurologist, Jean Lhermitte (1877-1959) who originally described it in a patient with multiple sclerosis (MS). It is a classic sign of MS.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Lhermitte sign — Sudden transient electric like shocks extending down the spine triggered by flexing the head forward. Due to a disorder such as compression of the cervical spine (the portion of the spinal cord within the neck). One patient who experienced… …   Medical dictionary

  • Sign — Any abnormality that indicates a disease process, such as a change in appearance, sensation, or function, that is observed by a physician when evaluating a patient. * * * 1. Any abnormality indicative of disease, discoverable on examination of… …   Medical dictionary

  • Lhermitte's sign — a tingling shocklike sensation passing down the arms or trunk when the neck is flexed. It is a nonspecific indication of disease in the cervical (neck) region of the spinal cord. Causes include multiple sclerosis, cervical spondylosis, and… …   Medical dictionary

  • Lhermitte's sign — a tingling shocklike sensation passing down the arms or trunk when the neck is flexed. It is a nonspecific indication of disease in the cervical (neck) region of the spinal cord. Causes include multiple sclerosis, cervical spondylosis, and… …   The new mediacal dictionary

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  • Jean Lhermitte — Jacques Jean Lhermitte (January 20, 1877 1959) was a French neurologist and neuropsychiatrist.He was born in Mont Saint Père, Aisne, son of Léon Augustin Lhermitte, a French realist painter. Following his early education at Saint Etienne, he… …   Wikipedia

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