3. Working up Weakness

In this week’s episode, I interview Dr. Robert Bucelli, a neurologist at WashU specializing in neuromuscular disorders. We discuss how to tailor your history and exam to a chief complaint of weakness. We talk about all the relevant questions to ask and how these questions allow you to narrow down your differential and guide further testing. We use a case of statin induced myopathy as the basis for our discussion.

Dr. Bucelli got his MD and Phd from the University of Buffalo. He then completed a neurology residency at Washington University followed by a fellowship in Neuromuscular disorders and has been a faculty member here at Washington University ever since. He is the five-time recipient of the Eliasson Award for Teaching Excellence, an award given annually by neurology residents to attending physicians that demonstrate excellence in teaching.

Time stamps:

– 03:50: Dr. Bucelli’s background

– 15:20: Advice for developing as a neurology resident

– 23:20 Clinical case of statin induce myopathy

– 30:09: Proximal vs distal weakness

– 35:15: Asymmetric vs symmetric weakness

– 36:20: Neurological examination for weakness

– 45:23: Upper vs lower motor neuron signs

– 48:30: Assessing muscle tone on exam

– 50:50: Patient exam

– 53:00: Diagnostic workup of proximal weakness

– 55:30: Three types of statin induced myopathy

– 1:01:50: Diagnostic workup to differentiate between different causes of stain induced myopathy

– 1:03:20: Summary and key takeaways


Dr. Bucelli is a consultant for the company NeuroQuestions LLC. Brain Boy Neurology reports no relevant financial disclosures.