Brown-Sequard Syndrome

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What is Brown-Sequard syndrome?

Brown-Sequard syndrome (BSS) is a rare neurological condition characterized by a lesion in the spinal cord which results in weakness or paralysis on one side of the body and a loss of sensation on the opposite side. BSS may be caused by a spinal cord tumor, trauma (such as a puncture wound to the neck or back), inadequate or blocked blood flow through a blood vessel to a part of the body, infectious disease such as tuberculosis, or inflammatory diseases such as multiple sclerosis.

The prognosis for individuals with BSS varies depending on the cause of the disorder. Early treatment with high-dose steroids may be helpful in many cases. Other treatment addresses the symptoms that may accompany the syndrome but not its underlying cause.

Learn About Clinical Trials
Clinical trials are studies that allow us to learn more about disorders and improve care. They can help connect patients with new and upcoming treatment options.

How can I or my loved one help improve care for people with Brown-Sequard syndrome?

Unfortunately, Brown-Sequard syndrome is a rare disorder. This means there is often not much information known about the disorder and doctors and researchers do not see enough patients with it. This makes it hard to learn from them through observations or large studies.

Consider participating in a clinical trial so clinicians and scientists can learn more about Brown-Sequard syndrome and spinal cord damage. Clinical research uses human volunteers to help researchers learn more about a disorder and perhaps find better ways to safely detect, treat, or prevent disease.

All types of volunteers are needed—those who are healthy or may have an illness or disease—of all different ages, sexes, races, and ethnicities to ensure that study results apply to as many people as possible, and that treatments will be safe and effective for everyone who will use them.

For information about participating in clinical research visit NIH Clinical Research Trials and You. Learn about clinical trials currently looking for people with spinal cord damage at, a database of current and past clinical studies and research results.

Where can I find more information about Brown-Sequard syndrome?

Additional information is available from the following resource:

National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD)
Phone: 203-744-0100 or 800-999-6673

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The NINDS Publication Catalog offers printed materials on neurological disorders for patients, health professionals, and the general public. All materials are free of charge, and a downloadable PDF version is also available for most publications.