hello. thankyou for taking the time to read my question. my husband was driving the other day and all of a sudden lost the ability to speak(he's 35 yrs old) he knew what he wanted to say but the words wouldn't come out and when they did the words were slow and mumbled. This happened about 3 times in 20 mins. Everything was working properly no other symptoms. That was 4 days ago and hasn't happened since. He went for a ct scan and the GP said there was a dark spot on the speech section of his brain and thought he may of had a stroke. These tests were sent to a specialist and he said there is no evidence of stroke or brain tumour. But he is going for more tests soon. What possibly could have happened? Could the specialist could have been mistaken and he could have had a stroke? Thanks so much!! I hope you can give us some insight to what could of happened.
Thank you for submitting your question.
I will answer your concerns to the best of my abilities, but please be informed that I am unable to offer a diagnosis based on your history and list of symptoms pertaining to your husband.
I am limited in not having the opportunity to perform a full neurologic examination on your husband, nor am I able to review the pertinent imaging.
This is solely for educational purposes and should in no way be a substitute for a formal evaluation by a certified physician.
In reading your comments, my suspicion is that your husband was having TIA's, otherwise known as transient ischemic attacks.
Please allow me to offer a brief educational segment on TIA's.
A TIA is a "warning stroke" or "mini-stroke" that produces stroke-like symptoms but no lasting damage.
It occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is briefly interrupted. TIA symptoms, which usually occur suddenly, are similar to those of stroke but do not last as long. Most symptoms of a TIA disappear within an hour, although they may persist for up to 24 hours. Symptoms can include: numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body; confusion or difficulty in talking or understanding speech; trouble seeing in one or both eyes; and difficulty with walking, dizziness, or loss of balance and coordination.
TIAs are often warning signs that a person is at risk for a more serious and debilitating stroke. About one-third of those who have a TIA will have an acute stroke some time in the future. Many strokes can be prevented by heeding the warning signs of TIAs and treating underlying risk factors. The most important treatable factors linked to TIAs and stroke are high blood pressure, cigarette smoking, heart disease, carotid artery disease, diabetes, and heavy use of alcohol. Medical help is available to reduce and eliminate these factors. Lifestyle changes such as eating a balanced diet, maintaining healthy weight, exercising, and enrolling in smoking and alcohol cessation programs can also reduce these factors.
I cannot tell you what the significance of the "dark spot" on your husband's CT scan indicates without having looked at the images myself.
It seems that there is a discrepancy in opinion of whether it even exists by multiple physicans.
Please be cautioned that CT, although a fast and convenient way to image the brain is very limited in sensivity of picking up very small abnormalities.
Here at the Cleveland Clinic, we would do the following for your husband:
1) Start or increase antiplatelet therapy (aspririn, plavix, etc.)
2) Conduct an MRI of the Brain (stroke protocol) with an MRA to look at the vessels, specifically the carotid arteries and the circle of Willis -- this is a very sensitive test for picking up even the smallest strokes
3) Depending on the results of the MRA, possibly a carotid ultrasound and a transcranial doppler study
3) EKG or Holter to look for heart rhythm abnormalities
If all of this is "normal" or "negative", we would look for other causes -- like seizure, complicated migraine headaches, etc.
I don't want to alarm you, but the sooner this is investigated the better it will be for your husband.
TIA's are warning signs -- be warned and be proactive in preventing something down the road.
If you would allow me, I would like to highly recommend the stroke department at the Cleveland Clinic. All of our stroke neurologist are very experienced and would offer excellent care.
Hope this helps,
Please refer to the following resources for more information:
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