Chapter: Diseases of The Brain and Nervous System(A Health Education Guide): Paralysis - Stroke

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Diagnosis of a Paralysis or stroke

Paralysis is a disease of the brain and therefore it is necessary to get proper and timely treatment from an experienced Physician or a Neurophysician.

Diagnosis :

Paralysis is a disease of the brain and therefore it is necessary to get proper and timely treatment from an experienced Physician or a Neurophysician. In order to locate the lesion and the extent of damage these doctors conduct necessary Physical examinations and use related diagnostic tools like a CT scan or MRI for proper diagnosis and decision of the appropriate line of treatment. It is advisable to get a CT scan done in the initial few hours of a stroke, in order to find out whether the patient is suffering from a hemorrhage or thromboembolism. Hemorrhage can readily be detected in a CT scan very easily. In the cases of thrombosis, CT scan is normal in the first few hours. Therefore, in cases of paralysis if the CT scan does not show a hemorrhage, then usually, immediate treatment for thrombosis is started. Another CT scan done after 24 to 36 hours, with a contrast dye confirms thrombosis along with the extent of damage. With the help of this, one can predict the future ofthe patient. Sometimes there can be another disease with similar symptoms and a scan will diagnose the same, preventing a fatal mistake e.g. Tumor, abscess.

In addition to this, hematological tests, biochemistry (sugar, tests related to kidney etc.), E.C.G. and other important tests are also done to assess the physical condition of the patient. Lipid profiles are done regularly. For the assessment of heart diseases 2D Echo test can also be done.

As observed earlier the risk factors of stroke as well as heart diseases are the same and heart disease is comparatively more prevalent than stroke. Therefore, investigations relating to heart disease are essential in patients of paralysis to prevent heart disease. According to a scientific research, number of paralytic patients dying due to heart disease is far more than the deaths caused by stroke.

For young patients of paralysis, who do not have blood pressure or diabetes, special investigations like anticardiolipin test, homocysteine tests etc. are advisable.

The damage to the blood vessels can be ascertained by Carotid Vertebral Doppler or MR angiography (or DSA Angiography). The decision of the investigations required for the patient, is better left to the doctor.


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