The brain, the principal playground of neurologists, is a complex organ. The more we learn about it, the more we have to unlearn our old certainties. The more we study it, the less it seems to reveal of itself. The brain is fascinating enough when it is functioning normally; it is however most intriguing when it becomes dysfunctional.

Child brain. Isaac Mao on Flikr.

Some symptoms arising from the brain are straightforward, for example hemiplegia, or one-sided weakness, which often develops following stroke. Some other symptoms however defy simple explanations. In this blog post, we look at the most unusual symptoms in neurology. We will however focus only on symptoms that may be produced by diverse diseases, and will exclude equally striking symptoms such as cataplexy, seen almost only in narcolepsy, and megaphagia, seen mainly in Kleine-Levin syndrome). Here then are our 19 most unusual symptoms in neurology.


24K jumping brain. Emilio Garcia on Flikr.


Alien limb syndrome



Deja vu


Normal brain. NIH Image Gallery on Flikr.

Gaze palsy


Mirror movements

Mirror writing


A twisted family tradition. Elisabeth Feldman on Flikr.

Pathological crying

Pathological hiccups

Pathological laughter

Pathological sneezing

Pathological yawning

Brain cell(s). Jean-Etienne Minh-Duy Poirrier on Flikr.

Phantom limb

REM sleep behaviour disorder


Sleep violence


Any strange neurological symptoms not on this list?

Why not search for it in Neurochecklists

Brains. Neil Conway on Flikr.

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