Thalamic stroke is one of the most dangerous or life threatening form of intracerebral hemorrhage. Thalamic stroke is caused by bleeding in the brain tissue causing severe damage to. Usually, thalamic stroke occurs when there is restricted supply of blood and oxygen to the lower part of the brain known as thalamus.
Where is the Thalamus Located Anatomically?
Word thalamus has been derived from a Greek work meaning chamber or room, it is a symmetrical structure present in vertebrates (including human beings) brain. Thalamus is situated in the forebrain right above the midbrain and very close to the central brain. From thalamus numerous nerve fibers are projected in all directions through cerebral cortex.
Is the Thalamus in the Brain Stem?
Yes, thalamus is a part of brain stem. It is located in between the midbrain and cerebral cortex. Common functions of thalamus includes inducing sensation, responsible for partial sense, and passing motor signals to cerebral cortex, which helps in regulating sleep, alertness and sleep. Thalamus closely and firmly surround the third ventricle and yes it also a crucial part of embryonic diencephalon.
What is the Function of the Thalamus in the Brain?
Thalamus perform multiple functions in brain, in simple words it is called as hub of information. Thalamus acts a relay between cerebral cortex and various subcortical areas. Sensory systems comprise of thalamic nerves that receives sensory signals and spread it to all the primary cortical area associated. The thalamus process both sensory information and also replay the same.
Thalamus also play a key role in regulating different states of body like sleep and consciousness. Any damage to thalamus can actually take a person to a state of coma. Research reveal that thalamus play a very selective role in brain. Different functions are closely linked with different areas of thalamus. Different sensory systems controlled by thalamus are as follows:
- Visual Systems.
- Somatic Systems.
- Gustatory Systems.
- Auditory Systems.
- Visceral Systems.
What is Bilateral Thalamus Stroke?
Bilateral thalamus stroke is a very rare form of thalamic stroke. The situation occurs when a complex combination is formed between risk factors and prejudicing vessel distribution. It is very serious and can even cause fatal outcome.
Causes of Thalamic Stroke
Some of the common causes of thalamic stroke are:
- High blood pressure is a cause of thalamic stroke.
- Excess deposition of protein in brain.
- Bleeding in brain tissues because of injury.
- Aneurysms may cause thalamic stroke.
- Restricted flow of oxygen in brain.
- Restricted flow of Blood in brain causes thalamic stroke.
Symptoms of Thalamic Stroke
Some of the frequent symptoms of thalamic stroke includes:
- Lack of balance or coordination is a major symptom of thalamic stroke.
- Facial paralysis is also a sign of thalamic stroke.
- Difficulty in droop eyelids.
- Severe headache.
- Frequent feeling of nausea or vomiting.
- Interruption in speaking or difficult to speak.
- Swelling in body.
- Stinging sensation.
- Numbness in body.
Treatment for Thalamic Stroke
If the problem of thalamic stroke is identified at an early stage then it can be treated with medicines. Doctors try different combination of medicines on patients to see recovery prospect. However, in majority of cases of thalamic stroke surgery is the only treatment option available. The surgery is not an easy one, instead; it has various complications associated. Before the surgery doctors perform a series of tests to ensure to know the exact condition of brain. Through surgery doctors remove all the damaged blood vessels that have actually caused the brain hemorrhage.
After the thalamic stroke surgery, the patients are asked to take extra care and follow all the instructions and precautions so as to ensure fast recovery. After experiencing thalamic stroke, patient may need to take speech therapy, physical therapy, or at times even occupational therapy.
Recovery Period/Healing Time for Thalamic Stroke
As it is brain related problem, hence; recovery is slow. Although, the recovery period or healing time for thalamic stroke is completely based on the severity of disease or treatment opted. Both in case of medication and surgery the time required for complete recovery is decently long. Patients need to keep patience and should strictly follow all the instructions provided by doctors, any leniency can have adverse effect on the patient.
Prevention of Thalamic Stroke
As such there are no preventive measures known for avoiding thalamic stroke, but people who have already suffered the problem once can take precautions to avoid facing the similar situation later. Preventive measures varies with the actual mechanism of the disease. In majority of cases, doctors prepare a tailored preventive mechanism for patient to ensure they never face the thalamic stroke again or even if they face the intensity should be very low.
Risk Factors for Thalamic Stroke
As thalamic stroke is a brain related problem, hence there are numerous risk factors associated with the same. Brain controls the entire human body and thalamus play a crucial role in controlling various important functioning of body. Ruptured tissues can have adverse impact on different sensory organs such as smelling power, touch, vision problem and so on leading to partial or permanent damage of sensory organs.
In addition, the lack of oxygen and blood supply in brain can also lead to partial or even permanent obstructions in movement. Some of the common experiences include facial paralysis, difficulty in speech, restricted body movement (Hands and legs), opening and closing of eye lids and so on.
Other common risk factors are feeling of constant sleepiness or restlessness, depression, frequent sense of numbness, constant sensation of nausea and unconsciousness.
Prognosis/Outlook for Thalamic Stroke
The outlook or prognosis of thalamic stroke is decent when the illness is identified at the earlier stages. Prognosis of thalamic stroke has no direct or indirect relation with patient's age, the side on which hematoma has occurred, midline shift presence or existence of hematoma ventricular penetration. Doctors have revealed the fact that in hypertensive thalamic hemorrhage prognosis can be easily identified by neurological findings, which includes identifying the actual size or number of hematomas, location and also existence of ventricular dilatation. All these details can be identified by performing CT scan. In this procedure actual health of brain and other details are acknowledged. Doctors always prescribe their patients to undergo the CT scan procedure, so that they can get the details of brain before proceeding with any medication or surgery.
Lifestyle Changes for Thalamic Stroke
One should acquire healthy lifestyle techniques such as involving in exercise and eating nutritious food, instead; of junk food. Quitting smoking and alcohol consumption is very important for thalamic stroke. This is because both these things have adverse effect on brain. Further, meditation and positivity helps on speeding up the recovery process. Doctors also suggest some of the crucial lifestyle changes, which one should definitely incorporate in their daily life for better relief.
Coping with Thalamic Stroke
Patients suffering from thalamic stroke often experience sudden and weird reactions. Family members and friends should give moral support and if required physical support to the patient. Also, as the person suffering from this problem feels moral breakdown or at times even go under depression, hence; taking help from professionals is a great way to cope with thalamic stroke. Counselors help patients by understanding their situation and help them in acquiring positive attitude towards life. They should motivate them and initiate a sense of moral power in them, which also aids in the recovery process.