Knowing Brainstem Stroke, Types, Symptoms, and Treatments

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Knowing Brainstem Stroke, Types, Symptoms, and Treatments
Knowing Brainstem Stroke, Types, Symptoms, and Treatments
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Brainstem stroke is a fairly dangerous condition and needs to be treated immediately by a doctor. The reason is, this condition can cause the sufferer to experience paralysis, even death

The brain stem is the part of the brain that regulates and controls various organs and limbs of the body. The brainstem is located just above the spine and at the back of the head. One of the vital organs in the human body serves to carry and convey signals from the brain to all parts of the body.

Getting to Know Brainstem Stroke, Types, Symptoms, and Treatment - Alodokter

With the brainstem, you can breathe, move, speak, swallow and blink. The brain stem also regulates heart function and various natural body mechanisms, such as vomiting and coughing.

Some Causes of Brainstem Stroke

Brainstem stroke occurs due to disruption of blood flow in the brainstem and its surroundings. This disorder can occur due to blockage or bleeding in the brain stem. When blood flow in the brain stem is disturbed, the nerve cells in that area are damaged and the brain stem is unable to transmit signals from the brain to all parts of the body. This is what causes various body functions to be disturbed.

Furthermore, a brainstem stroke can cause a person to have locked-in syndrome or live in a locked body. The condition occurs when a person has full awareness and can still hear and see, but is unable to move the body at all or is completely paralyzed.People with locked-in syndrome usually can only move one or both eyes.

Brainstem Stroke Type

There are 2 types of brain stem stroke, namely:

Ischemic stroke

Ischemic stroke or infarction stroke is a type of stroke that is quite common. Ischemic stroke is caused by a blockage or clot in the blood flow to the brain, thus interfering with the smooth flow of blood. In the brainstem, blockage in the brainstem blood vessels can cause an ischemic type of brainstem stroke.

When blood does not reach the brain tissue properly, the tissue in the brain will be disturbed and eventually will die because it does not receive oxygen from the blood. There are several conditions that can increase the risk of ischemic stroke in the brainstem or in other parts of the brain, namely high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, blood disorders, heart rhythm disorders, and smoking.

Hemorrhagic stroke

In contrast to ischemic stroke, hemorrhagic stroke occurs due to the rupture of a blood vessel in the brain, causing bleeding and accumulation of blood around the tissue. This condition can cause permanent brain damage.

The most common cause of ruptured blood vessels in the brain is a brain aneurysm, which is a condition when the brain's blood vessels are dilated and fragile, so they can burst at any time. Brain stem strokes are also at high risk for a condition called brain herniation.

Hemorrhagic stroke is more at risk in the elderly or people who have certain conditions, such as hypertension, cerebral venous artery malformations, and bad lifestyles such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and drug use.

Brainstem Stroke Symptoms

Brainstem stroke is sometimes difficult to diagnose because it has no characteristic symptoms. People who have had a brainstem stroke will usually experience sudden headaches, dizziness, and weakness.However, there are some signs and symptoms of a brain stem stroke that you need to be aware of, namely:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Members of body movement are weakened or even paralyzed
  • Tingling or numbness in certain body parts
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing and speaking
  • Disorders of balance or coordination of the body
  • Vertigo
  • Difficult walking
  • Hearing and vision impairment
  • Hiccups that won't stop
  • Loss of consciousness or coma

If you or someone you know experiences any of these symptoms, immediately go to the doctor or emergency room of the nearest hospital for examination and treatment.

Steps for Handling Brainstem Stroke

The treatment of brain stem stroke is adjusted according to the type or type of stroke and its cause. However, doctors will generally treat brain stem stroke conditions in the following ways:

1. Administration of drugs

To treat ischemic stroke, the doctor will give drugs to dissolve or remove blood clots that block blood vessels in the brain stem. In addition, the doctor may also need to give anticoagulant drugs or blood thinning drugs to prevent the formation of repeated blood clots. If the blood clot is caused by a heart rhythm disorder, the doctor may also prescribe medication to treat the heart problem.

Meanwhile, in the case of a hemorrhagic type of brain stem stroke, the doctor may give blood pressure lowering drugs, if the patient has high blood pressure that is difficult to control. To prevent or treat brain swelling, doctors can also give mannitol fluids through an IV.

The administration of these drugs must be done as soon as possible, which is no later than 6 hours from the appearance of brain stem stroke symptoms.

2. Medical action or surgery

In certain cases, the doctor may also perform medical procedures, such as angioplasty or stenting, to destroy clots in the brainstem blood vessels and maintain stable blood flow in these vessels.

If it is caused by a brain aneurysm, the doctor may perform surgery to repair the ruptured or damaged blood vessel and control bleeding in the brain.

3. Oxygen therapy

Brainstem stroke can cause this part of the brain to experience a lack of oxygen. To meet oxygen needs, doctors also need to provide oxygen therapy.

In cases of brainstem stroke that causes the patient to coma or unable to breathe spontaneously, the doctor may need to intubate to install a ventilator so that the patient can breathe.

4. Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy and medical rehabilitation are generally performed after the condition of the brain stem stroke patient has stabilized. Physiotherapy aims to train movement skills and other abilities that may be problematic, such as swallowing, speaking, and getting out of bed.

Sufferers of brainstem stroke will often require close monitoring and intensive care in a hospital. Therefore, brain stem stroke sufferers may be admitted to the ICU.

Some causes of brainstem stroke, such as AVMs or brain aneurysms, may not be completely preventable. Even so, you can reduce your risk of having a brain stem stroke by taking the following steps:

  • Consumption of nutritious foods that are low in fat and low in s alt.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Avoid smoking and exposure to cigarette smoke.
  • Avoid consuming alcoholic beverages.
  • Avoid the use of illegal drugs.

You also need to undergo regular check-ups with the doctor. During these routine check-ups, your doctor can estimate your risk for brainstem stroke and provide advice on how to prevent it.

If you experience some of the symptoms of a brainstem stroke mentioned above, consult a doctor immediately. The sooner you get treatment from a doctor, the lower your risk of developing dangerous complications.

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