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What is left thalamic stroke?

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Quick Answer

Between the cerebral cortex and the mid-brain is a double-lobed mass called the thalamus. This mass controls sensory perception, movement and consciousness. A left thalamic stroke occurs when the blood supply is cut off in the left side of the thalamus. This affects the opposite side of the body.

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Full Answer

Strokes in the thalamus occur more in young people, usually in smokers. Older people who have these strokes typically have a history of atherosclerosis, which is hardening or narrowing of the arteries. A small stroke in this region sometimes causes sensation loss on the opposite side of the body. However, if a larger stroke occurs that involves the thalamus and adjoining parts of the brain, some paralysis or weakening sometimes results.

Recovery from these effects usually occurs over time. In some cases a pain syndrome also occurs in these patients. Pain ranges from mild to severe. Although some recover from this condition, for many the pain syndrome is permanent.

Warning signs of a stroke include unexplained numbness, especially on one side of the body; problems understanding people when they talk; problems responding or speaking; becoming dizzy or having problems maintaining balance; and a sudden, severe headache. If these symptoms occur, it is important to contact a medical professional as quickly as possible. Early detection and treatment increase the chance for recovery.

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