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  • Writer's pictureOren Zarif

What Are the Symptoms of a Thalamic Stroke? - Oren Zarif - Thalamic Stroke


The thalamus is a part of the central nervous system that relays sensory and motor information to the cerebral cortex. Damage to the anterior nucleus of the thalamus leads to neuropsychological disturbances. In the early stages, a person may have decreased levels of consciousness and experience confusion, agitation, or aggression. A patient may also have decreased responsiveness. If a patient has experienced a thalamic stroke, he or she may exhibit the following symptoms:

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Symptoms of thalamic stroke can range from impaired sensation to thermal dysregulation, and painful limb movements. Recovery from a thalamic stroke involves compensating for a person's limited abilities. Although some secondary effects may never go away, rehabilitation can significantly improve the person's overall quality of life. Rehabilitation may also be necessary for stroke survivors to avoid recurrent episodes. Rehabilitation helps the brain to respond to treatment.

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Although there are not many studies on the onset of involuntary movement after a thalamic stroke, some researchers have identified patients who experienced these movements for a prolonged period. Patients with delayed onset involuntary movements had dystonia, athetosis, and chorea, and sometimes jerky myoclonic components. Another group of patients who had a lateral thalamic stroke and did not exhibit delayed onset of involuntary movements had a control group. They were compared based on demographics, imaging results, and clinical characteristics.

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Acute thalamic stroke has specific features, such as a visual field defect. MRI technology can detect atherosclerosis in the penetrating artery, reducing the risk of cardiac emboli. Patients with thalamic infarcts with posterior choroidal artery involvement are more likely to recover from cognitive impairment than those without. Moreover, MRI of the peripheral circulatory system can identify small arteries.

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In addition to being a serious medical emergency, a thalamic stroke has numerous implications for the patient's life. Because of its location, the thalamus is located near the brain stem, a thalamic stroke may affect one of the brain's two main arteries. Its loss of blood flow causes brain cells to begin dying. Thus, it is crucial to immediately restore blood flow to ensure the patient's survival.

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In a case of a thalamic infarct, the patient's symptoms may include bradycardia of 46 bpm, a miosis with ptosis on the right side, and central facial paralysis. The patient rotated 40 degrees to the left during cerebellar testing and deviated to the left when performing heel-toe walking. MRI imaging of the thalamus and the surrounding brain showed a small infarct on the sagittal and axial T2 FLAIR images.

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The role of thalamic infarction in the recovery from aphasia can be studied through the investigation of the brain's mnestic processing. The differential contributions of the diencephalo-prefrontal areas in this process may be attributable to the linguistic regions of the brain. This study, however, shows that the right region is crucial in thalamic aphasia.

Symptoms of a thalamic stroke include speech and communication problems, and hemispatial neglect, the tendency to ignore one side of the body. It can also cause double vision or hemianopia (half of the visual field is missing).

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In a study of patients with cerebellar and thalamic lesions, vascular Parkinsonism was identified in 55 patients. Of these, 51 were part of a larger study examining cerebral small vessel disease. In these cases, mixed lacunar infarcts involved both the thalamus and the basal ganglia and were associated with gait/balance dysfunction and bradykinesia. Patients with cerebral microbleeds had a reduced chance of displaying Parkinsonism. Their parkinsonian resting tremor was reversible after the thalamic infarction.

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The role of the thalamus in recollection and memory is becoming more clear, but more work is needed to clarify this. It is important to re-evaluate the critical role of the MD in memory. All patients gave written informed consent for the study, which was approved by local institutional review boards. The study was performed on patients with unilateral left ischemic thalamic stroke. The primary objective was to assess their recollection, as well as their ability to remember their familiarity.

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Cognitive deficits due to thalamic damage are often a consequence of both the anatomical lesions. Bilateral lesions often cause persistent amnesia. However, a patient who sustains a single lesion may experience severe memory disturbance and material-specific memory deficits. Researchers are also unsure of whether the frontal-thalamic functional systems play a role in the pervasive amnesic syndrome.

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