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Brain Stem Stroke Treatment

Brain Stem Stroke Treatment

Brain stem stroke is caused due to improper blood supply to the brain stem. This condition can be fatal, hence, brain stem stroke treatment should start within 3 hours after observing a stroke. Read the article to know more about treatment and recovery.
Niharika Arya
Last Updated: Jan 21, 2018
Brain can be called the control unit of our body. Every single activity in our body is controlled and operated by the brain. Brain is divided into right hemisphere, left hemisphere, cerebellum and brain stem. All these parts are assigned with different work and functions of the body.
For proper functioning, brain needs oxygen and nutrition which is provided by the circulating blood. Any blockage or interruption in the blood flow may result in the death of brain cells, which may result in stroke. The blockage in the blood flow can be caused due to the blood clots or internal bleeding. Depending on the location of the stroke, the functions performed by that part of the brain get affected. Here, we will discuss brain stem stroke causes, symptoms and treatment.
Treatment for Brain Stem Stroke
Brain stem is a very important part of the brain. It is present in the posterior part of the brain which is connected to the spinal cord. It controls the blood pressure, heart rate, consciousness, motor control of the body and respiratory controls like breathing. Hence, by this we can understand the consequences of getting brain stem stroke.
Difficulty in maintaining balance of the body, improper heartbeat and breathing, slurred speech, paralysis, visual hallucination are some of the common of brain stem stroke symptoms. Based on the causes brain stem stroke can be divided into two types: ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke. Ischemic stroke is caused due to clotting of blood in the artery which is responsible for the blood supply, whereas hemorrhagic stroke is caused due to internal bleeding in the brain.
Once a person observes brain stem symptoms he/she needs to be rushed to the hospital as there are more chances of a person's survival if the treatment is given within 3 hours after the stroke. The treatment totally depends upon the type of brain stem stroke. To diagnose the type and location of the stroke the doctor may use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, computed tomography (CT) imaging or angiography test. Then, accordingly, the treatment will be conducted. Following are the lines of treatments undertaken once the stroke is observed.
Ischemic Stroke
The first and immediate treatment in case of ischemic stroke is administering a drug known as Tissue Plasminogen Activator or TPA. This drug is injected into the blood vessel which goes to the brain. The drug spreads in the blood vessels and dissolves the blood clots. This resumes the blood flow and the saves the brain cells from dying. But this drug is effective only if given within 3 hours from the stroke. If the treatment is delayed then intra-arterial treatment is used. In this treatment a catheter is inserted inside the blood vessel in the leg which goes directly to the brain. The catheter then sucks the blood clot and facilitates proper blood flow.
Hemorrhagic Stroke
In case of hemorrhagic stroke, there is a formation of blood pool inside the brain. This may increase pressure on the brain which may result in swelling. The treatment starts with the use of diuretic drugs which reduces the swelling and pressure. This is followed by surgery which includes the removal of the blood vessels that are responsible for bleeding.
As soon as the person gets stabilized the recovery and rehabilitation process starts. Family and friends support can work wonders in the recovery of the patient. In severe cases the patient may even forget how to talk or walk, hence rehabilitation is essential for the patient to recover. Brain stem stroke can even cause death, so if any of your loved ones have symptoms of brain stem stroke then take them to a doctor immediately. Early treatment is the only way to recover from this condition.