Brown-Sequard Syndrome

Brown-Sequard syndrome (BSS) is a rare neurological condition. It is characterized by a lesion in the spinal cord.


Possible causes include:

  • Spinal cord tumor.

  • Damage caused by an accident (trauma) such as a puncture wound to the neck or back.

  • Obstruction of a blood vessel (ischemia).

  • Infectious or inflammatory diseases such as tuberculosis or multiple sclerosis.


  • Weakness or paralysis on one side of the body. This is known as hemiparaplegia.

  • Loss of feeling (sensation) on the opposite side. This is called hemianesthesia.


Generally, treatment for individuals with BSS focuses on the underlying cause of the disorder. Early treatment with high-dose steroids may be helpful in many cases. Other treatment is symptomatic and supportive.

The likely outcome (prognosis) for individuals with BSS varies depending on the cause of the disorder.


The NINDS supports and conducts a wide range of research on spinal cord disorders such as BSS. The goal of this research is to find ways to prevent, treat, and, ultimately, cure these disorders.