Brain stem stroke refers to a stroke that originates in the brain stem,
which is the lowest part of the brain. This type of stroke is
more serious than other types of strokes because the brain stem is a
source for many life functions, such as breathing, speech, swallowing,
heart rate, eye movement, blood pressure and body movement.
The most common cause is blockage of an artery which
can be due to hardening of arteries leading to the brain, narrowing of
the small arteries within the brain and embolism or presence of blood
clots to the brain from the heart. Rupture of an artery within
the brain can also lead to stroke.
Injury to the brain stem can also lead to brain stem stroke if there is
an interruption of blood supply to the brain. Other cases that
can interrupt the blood and oxygen supply to the brain include presence
of tumor and vasculitis, where the blood vessels
become inflamed. Factors that can increase the incidence of stroke
include: high blood
pressure, smoking, diabetes, heart diseases, high cholesterol
levels, alcohol intake, family history of stroke, sedentary lifestyle
and increasing age.
The symptoms differ from the other types
strokes because the symptoms greatly vary to the area that
affected. In some cases, it may lead to
paralysis of one or both sides of the body.
If the left side
of the brain is affected, it is the right side that becomes paralyzed
and vice versa, which complicates the brain stem stroke recovery.
Since it is the brain stem that controls breathing, then you may notice
a change in breathing. In severe cases, coma can occur
especially if the brain stem is compressed due to swelling.
- ataxia - difficulty in movement
- dysphasia - difficulty speaking
- dysphagia - difficulty swallowing
- nystagmus - uncontrolled eye movements
If the artery is blocked by plaque or fatty deposits, a surgical
procedure known as endarterectomy is performed to remove that plaque
that is accumulated in the arteries.
Another surgical method
called angioplasty uses coils, stents or balloons to treat the
problem; which is more common than other surgical methods because
of its safety, effectiveness and higher success rate.
There are a lot of steps that you can take for brain stroke recovery.
This includes having regular medical
controlling blood pressure, quitting smoking, eating healthy
foods and avoiding excess fat and sodium in the diet. Also
intake, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, reducing
stress and treating underlying conditions especially diabetes.
from Brain Stem Stroke Recovery to Stroke Causes
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