Paralysis | Symptom Checker
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What causes paralysis? 19 possible conditions

See a list of possible causes in order from the most common to the least.

1

Spinal Cord Injury

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

A spinal cord injury, or damage to the spinal cord, is an extremely serious type of physical trauma. It will likely have a lasting and significant impact on most aspects of daily life. According to the Nationa...

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2

Head Injury

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

A head injury is an injury to your brain, skull, or scalp. All head injuries should be treated seriously and assessed by a doctor.

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3

ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease)

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a degenerative disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. It causes loss of control of voluntary muscles.

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4

Subarachnoid hemorrhage

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) refers to bleeding within the subarachnoid space, which is the area between your brain and the tissues that cover it.

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5

Neuroblastoma

Neuroblastoma is a rare cancer that affects the sympathetic nervous system, usually in young children. Learn about the symptoms and treatment options.

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6

Spinal Cord Abscess

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Spinal cord abscess (SCA) is a rare condition capable of causing permanent damage to the spinal cord. Abscesses are caused when injured tissue becomes infected. The body's immune system sends white blood cells to hel...

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7

Mononeuropathy

Mononeuropathy is when a single nerve or nerve group is damaged. It causes a loss of sensation, movement, or function in that part of the body.

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8

Guillain-Barre Syndrome

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Guillain-Barre syndrome is a rare but serious autoimmune disorder. An infectious disease, like the stomach flu or a lung infection, usually triggers it.

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9

Stroke Overview

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

A stroke (a "brain attack") is a medical emergency in which part of the brain is deprived of oxygen. This occurs when an artery that supplies oxygenated blood to the brain becomes damaged and brain cells begin to die.

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10

Arterial Embolism

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

An arterial embolism is a blood clot that has become stuck in the arteries. This can block or restrict blood flow, causing tissue damage or death in the affected area. Clots generally affect the arms, legs, or feet.

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11

Multiple Sclerosis Overview

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system. MS can cause varying symptoms that appear with a wide range of severity, from mild discomfort to complete disability.

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12

Botulism

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Botulism (or botulism poisoning) is a rare but very serious illness that transmits through food, contact with contaminated soil, or through an open wound.

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13

Reye's Syndrome

Reye's syndrome is a rare condition that strikes without warning. It most often affects children ages 4 to 12 who are recovering from a viral infection.

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14

Tay-Sachs Disease

Tay-Sachs disease is a neurodegenerative disorder most commonly found in infants. Learn more about this rare disease.

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15

Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is a disorder that occurs when your peripheral nerves malfunction because they're damaged.

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16

Sarcoidosis

Learn about sarcoidosis and its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and potential complications.

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17

Marine Animal Bites or Stings

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Many marine animals bite or sting. Some deliver venom through their teeth, tentacles, spines, or skin. Others, such as sharks, aren't venomous but can inflict serious bites with their large, sharp teeth. Most creature...

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18

Trichinosis

Trichinosis is a disease caused by a roundworm infection. Learn about its symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and how to prevent it.

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19

Adrenoleukodystrophy

Adrenoleukodystrophy refers to several conditions that affect the nervous system and adrenal glands.

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This feature is for informational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose.
Please consult a healthcare professional if you have health concerns.
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