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Stroke

Unconscious

06/04/2007

Question:

WHY WOULD A STOKE CAUSE A MAN TO BE UNCONTIOUS HE HAD A PREVIOUS STROKE PARALLIZED FROM WAIST DOWN

Answer:

I'm not that I can fully answer your question.  I can give you this piece of general information--loss of consciousness typically occurs when one of two conditions are present:

1.) both cerebral hemispheres are affected (can be due to uncontrolled electrical activity, as in a seizure, or due to lack of oxygen throughout as in a cardiac arrest); or

2.) a structure in the brainstem (which connects the cerebral hemispheres to the spinal cord) called the reticular activating system is affected.  The reticular activating system is in the back of the brainstem, and plays an important role in consciousness.

So stroke patients typically only lose consciousness when there is a blood flow problem affecting both cerebral hemispheres (low blood pressure, cardiac arrest, etc.--more than one vessel is involved) or when a stroke is occurring in the brainstem that affects the reticular activating system (can be due to blockage of one vessel, the basilar artery).

I hope this has answered your question.

For more information:

Go to the Stroke health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Brett   Kissela, MD Brett Kissela, MD
Assistant Professor of Neurology
Director, Neurology Residency Program
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati