Causes and Symptoms of Cerebral Infarction - Oren Zarif - Cerebral Infarction
Cerebral infarction is a medical emergency characterized by a mass of brain tissue that impinges on vital structures. Symptoms may include coma and death. Treatments include decompressive hemicraniectomy. Other surgical options include resection of the infarcted tissue and duraplasty. While many invasive procedures can lead to death, some are not as effective as others.
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Patients with TIAs often experience a mini-stroke, called a transient ischemic attack (TIA). These episodes may last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours, but they are a warning sign that a full stroke is on the way. TIA symptoms are very similar to those of a major stroke. A less serious type of cerebral infarct is lacunar infarct. It occurs in small blood vessels in the brain. People with diabetes and high blood pressure are at risk for this type of infarction.
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The symptoms of cerebral infarction depend on the part of the brain affected. If the infarction is in the primary motor cortex, symptoms may include weakness on the opposite side of the body. If the infarction is localized in the brainstem, symptoms may include abnormal pupil dilation, loss of eye movements, and abnormal light reactions. Infarction in the left side of the brain can lead to slurred speech and an aggravated reflex.
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In the present study, 201 case subjects with cerebral infarction aged between 15 and 55 were included. Both the control subjects and case subjects were white, and their mean age was not statistically different. Among the study subjects, men were more likely to be diagnosed with cerebral infarction than women. As for the causes, a study of young adults in one region has revealed that several risk factors were associated with cerebral infarction, although the precise mechanisms of these are not yet known.
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Other causes of cerebral infarction are arterial occlusion, atheromas of the neck arteries, or ruptured giant aneurysms. Some cases of cerebral infarction have no known cause, but a weakened artery wall can lead to an embolic thrombus. Aneurysms may also cause cerebral infarction, so it is essential to identify the source. These causes of brain infarction should be treated as soon as possible.
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The symptoms of cerebral infarction can be detected through neuroimaging. A CT scan can confirm the diagnosis by identifying the location and extent of the infarcted tissue. A neuroradiologist can use this to decide which type of endovascular therapy to perform. With delayed CT angiography, physicians can determine the most appropriate therapy based on the patient's symptoms and blood flow pattern. A MRI is often more sensitive than CT, but delayed CT angiography is more specific.
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An embolic stroke is caused by a blood clot traveling through the bloodstream to the brain. Heart disease or surgery can lead to an embolic stroke. 15% of embolic strokes are associated with atrial fibrillation, a rhythm problem in the upper chamber of the heart. The subarachnoid space is another potential location for cerebral infarction. In all, cerebral infarction is a serious medical emergency.
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Other treatment options for cerebral infarction include surgery and noninvasive diagnostic tests. Noninvasive testing, such as a CT scan, can detect an unruptured cerebral aneurysm. Invasive techniques such as lumbar puncture and formal cerebral angiography are available for patients with suspected aneurysms. A ruptured aneurysm may be a sign of an underlying disease such as atherosclerosis or high blood pressure.
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Other types of strokes include hemorrhagic stroke, which occurs when a blood vessel supplies the brain with blood. Hemorrhage can be caused by a ruptured aneurysm, as can anticoagulation medications. In either case, bleeding can enter the brain and form a clot. An embolism can also form in the bloodstream. In addition to a stroke, hemorrhagic stroke may be caused by other conditions, such as atrial fibrillation.
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The brain requires proper blood flow to keep it healthy and regenerate brain cells. Once brain cells die, they are not able to regenerate, resulting in physical, cognitive, and mental disabilities. In 2003, 157,803 cerebrovascular deaths were recorded in the U.S. - including 138,397 people aged 65 or older. Cerebrovascular disease is the most common cause of death from neurological causes. Approximately 10 percent of all ischemic strokes are caused by intracranial atherosclerosis.
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Infection-related cerebral infarction is a common complication of chronic meningitis, which has a high mortality rate. TBM is similar to cryptococcal meningitis, although extracranial involvement is more frequent. Oftentimes, cerebral infarctions are associated with neurological complications such as seizures and hydrocephalus. Oftentimes, these infarctions have a delayed onset, and early diagnosis and treatment is essential to maximize the potential survival. Early diagnosis can also lead to ventricular decompression, preventing further cerebral ischaemia.