Spinal cord injury and stroke — Reeve Connect
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Spinal cord injury and stroke

AskNurseLinda
AskNurseLinda Moderator, Information Specialist Posts: 170 Information Specialist
100 Comments 25 Likes First Answer Name Dropper
edited April 2019 in Health & Wellness

People are familiar with the medical disease of stroke. It is also known by its diagnostic name Cerebral Vascular Accident (CVA). What many people do not know is that stroke can occur in the spinal cord as well as in the brain. A person can have a stroke in the spinal cord which can result in a spinal cord injury. In addition, a cause of stroke in the brain can be from a severe episode of autonomic dysreflexia (AD) if you have a spinal cord injury typically above the T6 level. You are at risk of a stroke in the brain if your blood pressure becomes too high during an AD episode.

Stroke in the brain or spinal cord occurs in one of two ways. Either a blood clot or emboli prevents blood from flowing through the brain or spinal cord. Without the constant flow of blood containing oxygen and nutrients, the affected area is denied the life-sustaining substances needed to keep the area beyond the clot viable. The other source of stroke is hemorrhage where a blood vessel bursts allowing blood to flow throughout the tissue causing damage by pressure as well as lack of oxygen and nutrients to the area.

The outcomes of a stroke in the spinal cord are different from a stroke in the brain. When a stroke occurs in the brain, there are usually some cognitive or thinking deficits that can be short or long term. Consequences of a stroke in the brain can include visual, spacial, speaking, swallowing, and thinking issues. A stroke in the brain can lead to functional impairment on one side of the body called hemiplegia. A stroke in the spinal cord can have functional movement and sensory changes at the spinal cord level of the stroke. The result is the same as other spinal cord injuries where messages from the brain cannot travel to and from the brain.

Read more about stroke in the spinal cord.


I'm online in this community every Wednesday from 8-9 PM ET to answer your SCI and paralysis related questions.

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Nurse Linda

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Comments

  • JHPRC
    JHPRC Moderator, Information Specialist Posts: 46 Information Specialist
    Second Anniversary 10 Comments 5 Awesomes 5 Likes
    Hi Nurse Linda,
    Very informative blog, thanks for posting ! 
    Jennifer Hatfield
    Senior Information Specialist
    Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation

    Have a question about paralysis and need personalized assistance? Contact our Information Specialists: www.ChristopherReeve.org/Ask

  • AskNurseLinda
    AskNurseLinda Moderator, Information Specialist Posts: 170 Information Specialist
    100 Comments 25 Likes First Answer Name Dropper
    Hi, JHPRC. Glad you liked it. Your group are such valuable experts. Nurse Linda

    I'm online in this community every Wednesday from 8-9 PM ET to answer your SCI and paralysis related questions.

    Leave a comment any time below. Let's get the discussion going!

    Nurse Linda

    Register for my next webchat! Sign up here!

  • tainam
    tainam Member Posts: 1
    Name Dropper First Comment Photogenic
    @AskNurseLinda Thank you for this post. I had a spinal stroke on 5/2/2020, that left me with a T10 incomplete injury.  While I had comprehensive testing in the hospital, they were unable to determine WHY it happened. Since the stroke, my focus has been on rehab, but I'm starting to feel like I'd like to have another doctor look at all the testing, etc., and see if anything has been missed. Do you think a second opinion makes sense?  
  • AskNurseLinda
    AskNurseLinda Moderator, Information Specialist Posts: 170 Information Specialist
    100 Comments 25 Likes First Answer Name Dropper
    Hi tanam, I always thing second opinions are worth the effort. A second set of eyes is good. At the least you will have peace of mind that the source might not be found. At the best you might discover something very helpful. A healthcare professional typically welcomes a second look. Nurse Linda

    I'm online in this community every Wednesday from 8-9 PM ET to answer your SCI and paralysis related questions.

    Leave a comment any time below. Let's get the discussion going!

    Nurse Linda

    Register for my next webchat! Sign up here!