Symptoms of brain stem stroke may include vertigo, dizziness, severe imbalance, double vision, slurred speech and decreased levels of consciousness, according to the American Heart Association. Symptoms may also include problems with breathing and heart function, weakness or paralysis, and difficulty chewing and swallowing, states the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
Brain stem strokes can have complex symptoms and are therefore difficult to diagnose, according to the AHA. Brain stem strokes may cause death as the brain stem is responsible for controlling all basic activities of the nervous system, such as consciousness, blood pressure and breathing.
The two main types of stroke are known as ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke, of which ischemic strokes are most common. An ischemic stroke is caused by blockages in blood flow, and a hemorrhagic stroke is caused by a burst blood vessel. Treatment of brain stem stroke may include the use of medications and surgery, according to CVS Pharmacy.
Lifestyle changes that can reduce the chance of stroke include regular exercise, a healthy diet that limits salt and fat, smoking cessation, increased consumption of fish, maintaining a healthy weight, controlling medical conditions such as high cholesterol and diabetes, and drinking alcohol in moderation, adds CVS Pharmacy.