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Basal Ganglia Stroke – Symptoms, Prognosis, Recovery, Treatment

Written by Dr.Mary

What exactly is a Basal Ganglia Stroke?

The tissue of the basal ganglia is made up of the putamen, globus pallidus and caudate nucleus and is a region in the brain. This region has a supply of blood that easily can suffer damage or be blocked. When the supply of blood to any region in the brain is disturbed, the individual will undergo a stroke. When a stroke occurs because of lack of blood flow in the basal ganglia, it leads to symptoms which are very explicit. It is by detecting these indicators that a medical professional can pinpoint the stroke area and then deliver the appropriate treatment.


Basal Ganglia Stroke Symptoms

The typical symptoms for a stroke in this area include:

Changes in body movement – strokes in this area can create a variety of anomalies in movement of the body. These include:

  • Rigid, stiff muscles
  • Movement loss
  • Tremors
  • Ataxia
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Difficulty in smiling or speaking

Cognitive impairment – some individuals will experience reduction in cognitive functioning, such as:

  • Ability to make decisions
  • Memory
  • Language
  • Attention

Unconsciousness, nausea, vomiting and headache – when bleeding occurs in the basal ganglia region can migrate to other regions of the brain. This bleeding irritates the tissues and nerves and can lead to vomiting and pain. Any pressure increase can lead to areas of the brain shutting down.

Personality changes – The following symptoms can occur:

  • Difficulty understanding
  • Frustration
  • Anxious
  • Lack of motivation
  • Loss of interest in any activities
  • Crying for no reason
  • Laugh for no reason
  • Depression
  • Anger

Basal Ganglia Stroke Recovery

Most individual start the recovery process from a stroke virtually moments after the stroke happening. Recovery which is spontaneous usually explains the majority of progress in the first month after a stroke. Any recovery that is positive hinges on:

  • Brain damage extent
  • Individual’s attitude
  • Skills of the medical professionals
  • Assistance of friends and family.

But not every patient recovers on their own. For these individuals, rehabilitation therapy can be irreplaceable. Successful rehabilitation depends on:

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  • Learning new skills to replace old ones that have been lost
  • Areas of the brain taught to take over work of the damaged areas
  • Rehabilitation begins as quickly as possible

Basal Ganglia Stroke Prognosis

Exactly how well a person will progress from this type of stroke depends on several factors – such as:

  • Severity of any impairment
  • Exact location of injury to the brain
  • Individual’s age
  • Individual’s general medical condition

Many dysfunctions are reversible while others may require lifelong treatment

Basal Ganglia Stroke Treatment

Any symptoms of a stroke needs to immediately be worked up in a hospital. The diagnosis of a stroke is based on the individual’s history, a neurological exam as well as brain imaging. A CT scan can show fresh blood in the skull.

During the acute phase of a stroke, patients need to be kept under close observation and might even require support in an intensive care unit. Treatment at this stage can range from conservative treatment consisting of:

  • Pain medication
  • Stabilizing vital signs
  • Lowering pressure inside the head

To invasive treatment options which consist of:

  • Surgery to removing any blood to relieve pressure
  • A shunt operation to drain the system

The largest acute complication is more bleeding from the original source. Approximately 20% of patients will have a further incident of bleeding during this time.

After the acute phase it is important to start early rehabilitation. Rehabilitation therapy is vital to getting the patient back to health as quickly as possible. Successful rehabilitation depends on:

  • Learning any new skills in order to replace old ones that were lost
  • Teaching areas of the brain to take over the work of any damaged areas
  • Skilled medical team
  • Support team involving medical professionals as well as family and friends

  1. thanks! really helpful

  2. do basil ganglia strokes usually lead to parkinson type disfunctions.if so what is the best course of action to minimize the effect

  3. if the patient had already decreased cognitive function before the incident, can he recover from coma after 16 days?

  4. My friend, in his early 40’s had this type stroke in May. Has had some rehabilitation therapy, now VA has shipped him off to a Nursing Home.

    Where is best place to find best therapy he needs in Virginia. His left side is paralyzed and he cannot walk.

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