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  • Writer's pictureOren Zarif

How to Recognize and Treat Wallenberg Syndrome - Oren Zarif - Wallenberg Syndrome


A person with Wallenberg syndrome has a variety of symptoms, all of which can be life-threatening. It is caused by a posterior vascular accident, and the gold standard for diagnosis is an MRI with DWI. However, this imaging is not always reliable and many cases are misdiagnosed. Early treatment of Wallenberg syndrome can save a patient's life. Here's how to recognize it and treat it. You might also be suffering from a similar condition.

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Although the exact cause of this disorder is unknown, there is a strong association between arterial dissection, cardiac embolism, and vertebral artery disease. A recent clinical-radiology study indicated that the most common cause of Wallenberg syndrome is a disease of the vertebral artery, which gives branches to the posterior inferior cerebellar artery and anterior spinal artery. In young patients, minor trauma to the neck can be the cause.

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The symptoms of Wallenberg syndrome vary from person to person, but in general they are characterized by decreased left leg and arm strength. The patient also had decreased sensations of temperature on the left side and difficulty sitting upright. He was leaning to the left side. MRI of the brain showed a lateral hyperintense lesion at the level of the left posterior medulla. This confirmed the diagnosis of Wallenberg syndrome.

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The prognosis for Wallenberg syndrome varies depending on the extent of damage to the brain stem and the location of the stroke. It is possible for a patient to improve over weeks or months, but neurological impairment can persist for years. It is vital to diagnose the symptoms in a timely manner to improve the patient's quality of life. If symptoms last longer than a year or two, they may require surgery to repair the damaged portion of the brain stem.

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Patients with Wallenberg syndrome may also have sensory disturbances in the soft palate and small pupil. The affected person may also experience tinnitus and have drooping eyelids. The recovery time for people with Wallenberg syndrome varies from person to person, but it usually lasts about six weeks to six months. However, those with more severe damage may experience permanent disability. While the symptoms are typically mild, they may require some form of physical therapy.

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In addition to the symptoms of Wallenberg syndrome, a patient with the condition may exhibit saccadic and gaze-holding abnormalities. Vertical saccades are hypometric and upwards, and lateral medullary lesions affect the otolithic vestibular nuclei. This imbalance can also affect a patient's ability to follow directions. Similarly, a patient with Wallenberg syndrome may exhibit ipsipulsion of the ocular poles.

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The severity of Wallenberg syndrome varies, based on the amount of brain damage that occurs during the stroke. Despite the lower risks of permanent disability, a patient with this syndrome must receive physical therapy and occupational therapy as soon as possible. Even with these benefits, it is important to know the risks and treatments before a stroke happens. The sooner you receive treatment for Wallenberg syndrome, the better your chances of recovering and avoiding permanent disabilities.

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Research in the field of rare diseases like Wallenberg syndrome is ongoing. You can learn more about the condition by visiting the Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center. Researchers at the National Institutes of Health are working on finding better treatments for this disorder. They are also working on developing treatments for this rare form of heart disease. And the research is making progress. This is a promising start in figuring out how to treat this condition and make it easier for people living with the condition to enjoy a normal life.

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Swallowing disorder is more common in WS patients, and its main symptoms are delayed laryngeal elevation. The patient's hemispheric stroke also makes swallowing more difficult. Paretic neck movement and difficulty controlling bolus control are also common in patients with WS. Nevertheless, these symptoms may not be related to WS alone. There are other treatments available to help with swallowing problems. They may include surgery or therapy, but these may not be necessary in all cases.

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In some cases, neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) and speech therapy may be beneficial. Both techniques can be used to treat dysphagia in the WS patient. The SM-EMG traces are superimposed on the laryngeal sensor signals. The jitter of swallowing in WS patients is longer compared to those of normal subjects. Moreover, the jitter is correlated with the variability of 0-2 interval.

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