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Brain Stem Stroke

My brother, who's 55, recently suffered a Brain Stem stroke. At this time, he's unable to eat & has a feeding tube in his stomach. He has trouble swallowing. He has no sense of hot/cold on his left side. This is not his first stroke, but the first was a different type & only affected his right side with a tingling sensation.

I guess my question is what can he expect for the future? Once these areas are affected, will they ever come back? Can anything be helped with rehab?

He was very optomistic at first...before he understood what happened. Now he's becoming very depressed. I am very, very concerned about him. Being the only breadwinner in his family, he's very worried about this...but that's not for this message board.

What are his options for any type of recovery...or are there any?
Thank you!
37 Responses
Avatar universal
My twin brother had a brain stem stroke.He has all the symptoms of it and has kept his thinking abilities.I'd like to know of all the treatments and or surgeries that can be done for him.It seems to me that the doctors where he's at dont know what to do for him.Is it that nothing can be done?He really needs some help and understanding of his condition.Mahalo(thank you)very much for any knowledge you can give us.
Avatar universal
My father suffered a Brain Stem stroke on Saturday, and from what we are being told, it was due to a blocked basal artery.  The stroke may have happened up to 15 hours prior to us finding him.  When we found him he was barely breathing on his own. They inserted the breathing tube and have been keeping him comfortable, but now we are being told that he is no longer breathing on his own, that the machine is breathing for him. He has developed a fever, and has no movement on his right side. He has not awoke since finding hime, and he has very jerky left side movemnt....I guess my question would be: Where do we go from here??  The doctors have given us no hope, and have advised that he is not a candidate for removing the clot in the basal artery...we are devastated...do we leave him on the breathing tube and give it some time??  Or do we let him go??
Avatar universal
My 59 year old brother-in-law suffered a Brain Stem Stroke 9 months ago.  In the first few weeks, he could barely talk, and when he did, it was unintelligible.  We were told that the greatest amount of recovery will be seen in the first 6-8 weeks and there would be little change after that.  I believe this applies only to Brain Stem strokes.  After about 8 weeks, he was speaking quite normally and still is.  However, the paralysis on his left side remains, and we are led to understand that this won't change.  His vision is somewhat affected, but we're not sure to what degree.  He can see, watch TV and recognize people, but I'm not sure if he reads.  The interesting part is that he's not depressed and has pretty much accepted his condition.  We think this may be a result of anti-depressants, because prior to his stroke, we would have assumed this would be intolerable to him, as it would be to many.  We are convinced that he will never be able to live independently, as we are advised by his medical staff.  He is single and is living in a nursing home, where he gets some physical therapy and range-of-motion treatment.  This is primarily to keep him flexible - not with any expectation of his being able to walk or use his left side again.
Avatar universal
There's reasonable hope that he will regain his swallowing ability.   MOst of his improvement will happen in the first 3 months but will continue up to a year so not all is lost.   What goes against him is the fact that he's had prior strokes -- it may slow down recovery.  He should not give up, get him to a therapist, start antidepressants (therapy alone is often not too helpful -- this is a big hit for patients on the emotional level), get him into support groups and be there for him.   He is lucky to be alive and be with his family.
Avatar universal
I am a brain stem stroke survivor.  I had what is called a bilateral brain stem stroke(Both sides).
Mine was 16 months ago and I am 51 years old.  I read all the posts and seen myself as if in a mirror.  What I felt the worst about was "accepting" a new me....Not working or able to work was the worst.  Mine was due to genetically smaller basiliar and vertibral arteries.  What the docs say about recovery is a "book" generality.  They said I would not walk....Guess what?  I don't do well, but I get around...Speech?  Yep, I was mr slur and drooled...I speak now..Lots of things started improving within a year....That is why social security disability is relentless on seeing if a stroke survivor improves in a year....I still have a numb hand, spasticity, numb foot and have what they will learn as being "stroke days", when it feels like a relapse.I see many of us are...One thing I had issues was with me thinking these symptoms are only "mine"..that I was the only one with them....I am like a walking pharmacy now..but I am alive...Please be aware that the brain stem does control breathing and heart rate.  I am now on oxygen at night because my o2 levels dropped when I sleep....Don't let them give up....Fight the power..Hahahha....I can   I can is the motto...Not I can't or won't....I said I can't because it is frustrating to start learning to talk and walk again....a lot of mental effort for sure...
I "am" a survivor....God Bless the caregivers too !!!!  A sometimes thankless job..
My boyfrend also 51 had a 2 strokes one ichemic , the other hemorragic. This was about 1 1/2 ago. He is speaking and walks with a walker. We have to use the wheelchair for anything long distance. He has constant dizziness. I was just wondering how you are doing now. They say every stroke is different and every recovery is different....
Avatar universal
My husband suffered a brain stem stroke three weeks ago.  He cant breath on his own and is connected to a ventilator. He doesn't have any sensation in his body and he can only barely open his eyes, but he hears and know what we are telling him.  Im just praying that in the future he can breath on his own and have a good life.  Our prayers are constant and we hope to see him improve.

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