FAQ - Brain Stem Infarctions
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What is the worst case scenario of cysts on the brain stem?

I just found out that my uncle has a cyst on his brain stem and one behind his nose cavity. What can we expect with this.. We don't have any doctors telling us anything. He is going to die? He is only 38 years old.

Is the cyst endodermal,dermoid, or epidermoid (rare)?
They may drain the cyst by putting in a shunt or aspirate it out (needle) or if the cyst is not causing any problems they may watch its growth over time and then operate! On the rare occasions such cysts spontaneously burst and release their contents,
patients may experience fever, headache, or neck stiffness.
It is very hard to tell what the prognosis will be....good news it is a cyst not a tumour....no need for radiation.  (+ info)

Can your veins grow around your brain stem?

My daughters friend just had a stroke because of a blood clot. But they also said that her veins are growing around her brain stem. She is only 15 yrs old.

It is very unusual for children to have strokes but not impossible. There is circulation involving the brain stem, but the information you provide is a little confusing. Strokes can be either from a blood clot or a bleed, where there is usually a weakness in the artery or vein wall. With a clot, sometimes surgery can be done to remove the clot or anticoagulant therapy can be done to dissolve the clot.The brain stem is the worst place for any trauma to occur for it controls too many brain centers & is hard to reach located just above the spinal cord. I'm kind of guessing this is what you mean as to the location of the clot regarding the "stem" & the "veins growing" but they are not really "growing".It's possible that the clot could be enlarging but that's just guessing on my part & I really don't like guessing. Without knowing more, I really can't advise but If the clot is there the prognosis is very guarded. Sorry.  (+ info)

What percent of brain stem stroke victims survive?

My uncle had a brain stem stroke not long ago. He is doing much better now, but someone told us only 15% of victims actually survive. Is that true??

You're correct that the prognosis is not very encouraging following brain-stem stroke. But the fact that your uncle is doing much better now is certainly a good indication, since many patients do not improve at all.

Don't make yourself crazy with the percentages. Just be there for your family.

I wish you and your uncle good luck.  (+ info)

Does the brain stem have roots in our body that suck out our blood?

I demand to know if the brain stem have roots in our body that suck out precious bodily fluids like blood and stuff in order simply to feed itself.

I guess you could technically say that. It does use blood to feed itself, just like every other part of the body does. It's "roots" are arteries and capillaries.

But it is just a part of the brain. They call it the stem because it is at the bottom of the brain, just like a stem is underneath a flower.   (+ info)

Does anybody have any good info on brain stem compression?

I can't find a really good page about it anywhere. I just want to know the symptoms of brain stem compression, treatment, prognosis, and recovery.

Please help, I'm pretty scared, the only real life examples that I can find is death in medical journals.
It appears that I've got my terms mixed up. Ignore this question entirely.

The brainstem is the part of the brain which you cannot live without. It controls vital centers for cardiac and respiratory function. Without a brainstem or brainstem function a person is declared brain dead. Compression of the brainstem is usually due to swelling of the brain (due to trauma, surgery or tumor) which presses on the brainstem and can force it through the hole in the bottom of the skull where the spine usually exits (this is known as herniation which is usually fatal). Emergent decompression can save life and this is done with a hemicraniectomy (removal of part of the skull to allow the brain to swell out of that hole and relieve the compression). There may be residual neurologic deficits.  (+ info)

Can embryonic stem cells repair brain damages?

My friend got in a car accident and now is in a nursing home, his right or left side of the brain is damage, can embryonic stem cells repair brain damages? i really want my friend to get well. He's only 21 years old.

Embryonic stem cells have never cured a human being of anything. However adult stem cells have already helped people with brain injuries.

Catholics believe that life is a sacred gift from God and needs to be treated with all human dignity from the moment of conception to the point of natural death.

For this reason, the destruction of human embryos to harvest embryonic stem cells is immoral.
• The end never justifies the means
• A moral good can never come from a moral evil

Here are just a few of the common myths about Stem Cell Research:

Myth: Stem cells can only come from embryos.

Truth: Stem cells can be taken from:
• Umbilical cords
• The placenta
• Amniotic fluid
• Adult tissues and organs including bone marrow, fat from liposuction, regions of the nose and even dead bodies up to 20 hours after death

Myth: The Catholic Church is against stem cell research.

Truth: The Catholic Church approves three of the four types of stem cell research:
• Against Embryonic stem cells
• For Embryonic germ cells (from miscarriages)
• For Umbilical cord stem cells
• For Adult stem cells

Myth: Embryonic stem cell research has the greatest promise

Fact: Up to now, no human being has ever been cured of a disease using embryonic stem cells. Adult stem cells, on the other hand, have already cured thousands. There is the example of the use of bone marrow cells from the hipbone to repair scar tissue on the heart after heart attacks. Research using adult cells is 20-30 years ahead of embryonic stem cells and holds greater promise.

Based on the “The Ten Great Myths in the Debate Over Stem Cell Research” by Tadeusz Pacholczyk, Ph.D. http://www.ncbcenter.org/10Myths.pdf

Adult stem cells are currently used for the medical treatment of:
• Anemias
• Cancers (multiple types)
• Child Leukemias
• Cornea Regeneration
• Crohn´s Disease
• Diabetes, Type I
• Heart Disease, Acute & Chronic
• Krabbe Leukodystrophy
• Liver Cirrhosis
• Lupus
• Lymphomas
• Myelomas
• Multiple Sclerosis
• Paralysis
• Osteopetrosis
• Parkinson´s Disease
• Rheumatoid Arthritis
• Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Syndrome
• Sickle Cell Anemia
• Spinal Cord Injury
• Stroke
• Systemic Vasculitis
• and more

For more information, see the National Catholic Bioethics Center’s resources on stem cell research: http://www.ncbcenter.org/stemcell.asp

With love in Christ.  (+ info)

if the brain stem is the only part of the brain functioning, can someone ever recover?

if a small child with an head injury resulting in only the brain stem functioning (the last thing to die in the brain when there has been an injury due to hypoxia) , will they ever recover?

There may be a partial or 'miracle' regeneration, but generally brain cells don't regenerate, or grow back. That is why we lose brain cells all the time, daily, and we accept that they are gone with age.

However in children, some limited unusual or unexpected growth and adaptation may occur, on a very limited basis, not quite enough to be called partial, and again, this would be very unpredicatable without sufficient landmark precedents, only the possibility.

I also believe that the chances are better with hypoxia than from a traumatic brain injury, which would involve more swelling and cerebrospinal fluid depletion.   (+ info)

If math is affected because of a brain stem stroke, what abilities may be enhanced?

My mom had a brain stem stroke and her doctor told her that there is no way she will get her math abilities back. What brain functions do you think will be made stronger because of it?

I don't think any brain functions are made stronger by a stroke. She may become stronger in an area by overcompensation for another area if she works hard at it, but I don't recall people gaining more cognitive abilities because of loss of brain function. I'm sorry to hear about your mom.  (+ info)

Where can I get stem cell treatment for brain damaged baby?

Hi - I don't know if you can help me but am based in Dublin, Ireland. I recently gave birth to a baby girl and want to know where I can get stem cell treatment for her asap - as she has been diagnosed with perm brain damage and will most likely suffer from spastic quadriplegia if she survives..the only thing she has is a brain stem with heart and just about breathing function..I really want to save her and believe that stem cells may give her that quality of life..that she so deserves..any advice info where to go who to talk to and how much would be gladly appreciated..thanks..
Perhaps it can restore some of the function loss then?? she can not suck, swallow or gag for instance..so perhaps some light cell treatment might make her life a bit more better?? even if it can not grow a brain as such..no???

If that is all your daughter has, unfortuantely, I don't believe that stem cell therapy will help. It cannot grow a brain when one has been destroyed; it simply helps in SOME illnesses to replace function lost in a SMALL area.

I wish I had better news. My sympathies.  (+ info)

My 33 yr old brother had a brain stem stroke?

My brother is 33 and had a stroke in the brain stem leaving him un-able to move. With physical therapy he's able to move his head and face, fingers and toes. Does anyone know of anything that may help him with his recovery. I appreciate any suggestions and thank you greatly.

My stroke was on the left side so I had compete paralysis on the right side. I know it can be very discouraging, but it will help your brother to have faith thats he can get better.

I had a stroke on 11.28.07, like a mentioned, I couldn't move anything on the right side of my body. With a lot of rehab (physical, occupational, speech and psychological) I started seeing progress-- albeit minor progress, every day.

I could speak well enough for my wife to understand me within a few days; I walked with help from a cane within a couple of weeks; and I could touch each finger to my thumb by Christmas day. Every day, however, was a struggle, but today I am back to work, I can run a 10-minute mile and I am typing this no slower than I typed before hand. My speech is still jacked-up a bit, but that doesn't stop me from singing at church. And I'm still exercising and trying to get better although I have come to grips with the fact that I will probably won't every be 100% of what I was before the stroke.

The doctors said my recovery went so well because of my youth (I'm 42). Personally, I contribute it to my will to get better-- my two-year old son wanted to play and I still had something to say.

I know it is hard because no one will tell you what to expect-- How much will I recover? how soon will it start? and how long will it take? but, honestly, they don't know. All your brother can do is have faith that he will get better, work hard to do so, look for little bits of progress everyday and know that it is possible-- 'cause I did it!  (+ info)

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