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What are bilateral lacunar infarcts?

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A bilateral lacunar infarct refers to a stroke that damages deep brain structures, for example the thalamus, the basal ganglia or the pons, in both hemispheres of the brain, according to Drugs.com. It occurs when one of the arteries carrying blood to these areas becomes blocked.

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There are several symptoms that may occur as a consequence of a lacunar infarct, depending on which area has been damaged, as reported by Drugs.com. These include difficulty speaking, difficulty walking, paralysis and numbness. When doctors suspect that a patient has suffered a lacunar infarct, brain imaging techniques such as computed tomography scans and magnetic resonance imaging are used to confirm the diagnosis. Risk factors include high blood pressure, smoking, aging, diabetes and heart disease. Treatment is likely to include certain lifestyle changes related to diet and exercise, as well as blood-thinning medication such as aspirin.

Chances of recovery are good, as stated by Drugs.com. More than 90 percent of people show substantial improvement within a month after the stroke occurred. A study published by the American Heart Association has shown that approximately 66 percent of patients regain their functional independence within a year. Lacunar strokes account for 20 to 30 percent of all strokes in the United States.

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