Rare Endocrinology News

Disease Profile

Brown-Sequard syndrome

Prevalence estimates on Rare Medical Network websites are calculated based on data available from numerous sources, including US and European government statistics, the NIH, Orphanet, and published epidemiologic studies. Rare disease population data is recognized to be highly variable, and based on a wide variety of source data and methodologies, so the prevalence data on this site should be assumed to be estimated and cannot be considered to be absolutely correct.


US Estimated

Europe Estimated

Age of onset





Autosomal dominant A pathogenic variant in only one gene copy in each cell is sufficient to cause an autosomal dominant disease.


Autosomal recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of each gene of the chromosome are needed to cause an autosomal recessive disease and observe the mutant phenotype.


dominant X-linked dominant inheritance, sometimes referred to as X-linked dominance, is a mode of genetic inheritance by which a dominant gene is carried on the X chromosome.


recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of a gene on the X chromosome cause an X-linked recessive disorder.


Mitochondrial or multigenic Mitochondrial genetic disorders can be caused by changes (mutations) in either the mitochondrial DNA or nuclear DNA that lead to dysfunction of the mitochondria and inadequate production of energy.


Multigenic or multifactor Inheritance involving many factors, of which at least one is genetic but none is of overwhelming importance, as in the causation of a disease by multiple genetic and environmental factors.


Not applicable


Other names (AKA)

Hemispinal cord syndrome; Hemicord syndrome; Hemiparaplegic syndrome


Nervous System Diseases


Brown-Sequard syndrome is a rare neurological condition that results from an injury or damage to one side of the spinal cord. This condition results in weakness or paralysis on one side of the body (hemiparaplegia) and a loss of sensation on the opposite side (hemianesthesia).[1][2] Brown-Sequard syndrome most commonly occurs in the the thoracic spine (upper and middle back).[3] There are several causes of Brown-Sequard syndrome, including: a spinal cord tumor, trauma (such as a puncture wound to the neck or back), infectious or inflammatory diseases (tuberculosis or multiple sclerosis), and disk herniation.[2][3] Treatment for this condition varies depending on the underlying cause.[1]


Treatment for individuals with Brown-Sequard syndrome focuses mainly on the underlying cause of the disorder. Early treatment with high-dose steroids may be beneficial in many cases.[1] Physical, occupational and recreational therapy are important aspects of patient rehabilitation.[2] Other treatment is symptomatic and supportive.[1]

More detailed information regarding treatment for Brown-Sequard syndrome can be accessed through Medscape Reference. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.


Support and advocacy groups can help you connect with other patients and families, and they can provide valuable services. Many develop patient-centered information and are the driving force behind research for better treatments and possible cures. They can direct you to research, resources, and services. Many organizations also have experts who serve as medical advisors or provide lists of doctors/clinics. Visit the group’s website or contact them to learn about the services they offer. Inclusion on this list is not an endorsement by GARD.

Learn more

These resources provide more information about this condition or associated symptoms. The in-depth resources contain medical and scientific language that may be hard to understand. You may want to review these resources with a medical professional.

Where to Start

    In-Depth Information

    • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
    • The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
    • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Brown-Sequard syndrome. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.


      1. Brown-Sequard Syndrome Information Page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/All-Disorders/Brown-Sequard-Syndrome-Information-Page. Accessed 2/1/2017.
      2. Vandenakker-Albanese C, Zhao H. Brown-Sequard Syndrome. Medscape. August 16, 2016; https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/321652-overview.
      3. Johnson S, Jones M, Zumsteg J. Brown-Séquard syndrome without vascular injury associated with Horner's syndrome after a stab injury to the neck. J Spinal Cord Med. January 2016; 39(1):111-114. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4725780/.

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