Persistent hiccups could be a sign of lateral medullary syndrome

A type of stroke called Wallenberg syndrome is a stroke that causes damage to the lower part of the brain stem. It is caused by a blockage of a small blood vessel in the brain, which in turn causes a series of characteristic signs and symptoms. If your doctor diagnoses you with Wallenberg syndrome or lateral medullary syndrome, carefully review the following helpful information:

What is lateral medullary syndrome/Wallenberg syndrome?

This is a case of a stroke that has a wide range of symptoms that are very confusing in the diagnosis for the doctor. The reason these unusual symptoms appear together is because Wallenberg syndrome is a stroke that damages a small but vitally important area of ​​the brain that controls many different body functions. And the damaged part is the lateral medulla, which connects the brain with the lower parts of the body.

What are the symptoms of lateral medullary syndrome?

Often the symptoms are difficult to recognize. The physician must perform a careful neurological examination to identify all the signs and combine them to diagnose lateral medullary syndrome.

Face

Usually, one side of the face is numb. There is also loss of sensation to temperature or pain on one side of the face.

The eyelid may droop on the same side of the numbness and the pupil size may change. Often, there may be eye twitching when you glance from side to side. This condition is called eye movement.

Some patients may experience pain in the face and mouth.

Arms and legs

There is often numbness and decreased sensation in the arm, leg, or both leg and arm on the opposite side of the face. Occasionally, there may be mild to moderate paralysis in the arms or legs.

Most people who have had a lateral medullary stroke have difficulty coordinating movements in their arms and legs.

Other symptoms

People who have had a lateral medullary stroke may experience dizziness, a hoarse voice, and difficulty swallowing. In particular, this type of stroke can cause intermittent hiccups that last for days. In fact, this persistent symptom of hiccups could be a sign that helps your doctor diagnose you with lateral medullary syndrome.

When should you see a doctor?

If you or someone you know hiccups continuously for days, you need to see a doctor right away as it could be a sign of a stroke or a neurological disorder.

How do doctors diagnose lateral medullary syndrome?

The diagnosis of lateral medullary syndrome is usually made by neurological examination and then confirmed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain. Brain MRI confirms the location of abnormalities and determines whether it is a brain hemorrhage or infarction or even a brain tumor or infection.

Usually, brain CT scans do not detect strokes in the brain stem, therefore, brain CT scans do not detect abnormalities in lateral medullary syndromes.

What is the treatment for lateral medullary syndrome?

The treatment of lateral medullary stroke includes controlling blood pressure and administering thrombolytics. Usually, treatment for lateral medullary stroke depends on the severity of the diagnosis, including whether there is high blood pressure, whether heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes or a blood clotting disorder. Once the cause of your stroke is determined, your doctor will begin to treat the current stroke and prevent future strokes.

How does a stroke progress?

After a lateral medullary stroke, symptoms may continue to worsen for the first 48-72 hours, especially if you don't go to the emergency room right away. After that, stroke survivors who experience lateral medullary syndrome often improve over time, although symptoms rarely completely go away.

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