Basal Ganglia Stroke

Basal ganglia are a part in your brain that consists of putamen, globus pallidus and caudate nucleus. This region will be under continuous supply of blood but sometimes blood supply is blocked causing basal ganglia stroke. Once the stroke occurs, it can cause very explicit symptoms.

Symptoms :

Some of the symptoms of occurring stroke in the basal ganglia region are change in body movement. The muscles become stiff and rigid. It can cause mild tremors in the body and loss of movement. There may be difficulty in swallowing and smiling and even speaking. All these bodily changes are indicative of stroke.

For some people it can affect cognition by reducing its function thereby causing inability to make decision, loss of memory and loss of concentration etc. There can be nausea, vomiting and headache due to the bleeding of tissues and nerves. It can cause frustration, anxiety, depression, difficulty in understanding, loss of interest, and sudden irritation and anger.

More symptoms :

If the basal ganglia stroke occurs on the right side, then the patient will have problems on the left side nervous system. He may not be able to move his eyes to the left. He can also see the food present only on the right side and not on the left side. He will swallow food only through right side and ignore left side.

The person will lose sensitivity after he gets a stroke. He may not feel the touch or identify where someone touches him. There may not be any pain or temperature in the affected area. The stroke will intensely affect the eye movement. The person will have problems in looking up or moving his eyes to one side. It can affect the pupil’s size in extreme cases. Changes in judgmental skill and personality are quite common after a stroke.

Causes :

Brain injury is the main cause for basal ganglia stroke. It can happen due to copper poisoning, head injury, infection, multiple sclerosis, stroke and tumors. Certain brain disorders like Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Wilson’s disease, multiple system atrophy and dystonia can also cause basal ganglia stroke. In rare cases, severe hypertension and diffused hypoxic injury can cause stroke.

Who are at risk and how can be prevented?

Almost 80% of basal ganglia stroke can be prevented by reducing the risk factors. By following proper diet, by engaging in physical activity, by reducing alcohol and avoiding smoking you can reduce the risk of getting stroke. You can take precautions for not getting certain medical condition like diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol, obesity and cardiovascular diseases by doing regular exercises and maintaining your weight. However you cannot manage or alter certain risk factors like age, gender and family history of having stroke.

Diagnoses :

It is easy to diagnose basal ganglia stroke by neurologist. He would request for CT or MRI scan for determining the extent of damage caused to the brain. If the CT scan indicates the presence of fresh blood in the brain it can be due to stroke.

Treatment :

The person has to be treated as in-patient in the hospital after he gets a basal ganglia stroke. During the acute stage of the stroke, the patient will be kept in ICU for close monitoring. Treatment will be aimed in stabilizing the vital signs and to lower the blood pressure inside the head. Conservative treatment will have to be started immediately.

Invasive treatment for this disease includes surgery for removing any blood clot, and shunt operation on the brain for draining the pus inside.

After the completion of surgery, the patient will be put on rehabilitation therapy to bring back to the original health. He would be taught to use the available part of the brain leaving the damaged ones. Skilled medical team will have to work on him constantly along with support from his family and friends.

Recovery :

Many individuals will recover as soon as the stroke has occurred. Spontaneous recovery happens during the first month of stroke occurrence. However the recover process depends on the extent of brain damage, skills of the doctors, and support from the family and friends and individuals attitude. It also depends on the age of the individual and general health condition.

Sometimes, rehabilitation therapy is essential for recovery. The person has to acquire new skills for replacing old ones during the rehabilitation program. Most of the dysfunctions can be repaired by therapy.

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