What Is a Spinal Stroke

What Is A Spinal Stroke?

A spinal cord injury (SCI) is a condition where part or all of the brain stem, which controls most functions of your body including breathing, heart rate and blood pressure, is damaged. Most commonly it occurs when a car accident causes head trauma or falls from great heights. However other types of injuries such as strokes are also possible.

The damage to the brain stem can cause problems with breathing, heartbeat and blood pressure. If not treated properly, these symptoms may become life threatening.

Spinal cord injuries are divided into two categories: diffuse axonal injury (DAI) and focal neurovascular accidents (FNVE). DAE’s usually occur in older adults while FNVE’s happen at younger ages due to a combination of factors such as genetic predisposition, environmental stressors, alcohol abuse etc.

DIE’s are rarer than FNVE’s but they do occur. They tend to affect young children and infants. These injuries are called diffuse intrinsic pontine myelinolysis (DIPMI) and diffuse intrinsic peduncular myelopathy (DPM).

DIPMI is caused by a virus that attacks the nerves in the neck causing them to die off leaving behind scar tissue. DPM is caused by a loss of blood supply resulting in a loss of brain stem cells.

What are the causes of spinal cord injury?

When the spinal cord is damaged, it can cause a loss of motor and sensory functions that travel through it.

Sources & references used in this article:

Comparison of naloxone and a δ-selective antagonist in experimental spinal stroke by AI Faden, TP Jacobs, JA Zivin – Life Sciences, 1983 – Elsevier

Spinal ischaemic stroke: clinical and radiological findings and short‐term outcome by E Kumral, F Polat, H Güllüoglu… – European Journal of …, 2011 – Wiley Online Library

Vertebral body infarction indicating midthoracic spinal stroke by C Börnke, G Schmid, S Szymanski, L Schöls – Spinal Cord, 2002 – nature.com

Anterior spinal artery stroke demonstrated by echo-planar DWI by F Stepper, K Lövblad – European radiology, 2001 – Springer

Effects of dichloroacetate in spinal stroke in the rabbit by WG Barsan, JR Hedges, SA Syverud, SC Dronen… – Life sciences, 1987 – Elsevier

Spinal cord stroke in a ballet dancer by K Spengos, G Tsivgoulis, P Toulas, S Sameli… – Journal of the …, 2006 – Elsevier

Spinal stroke in older people secondary to dural arteriovenous fistula by SK Pillai, T Subramaniam, GG Rao – Case Reports, 2011 – casereports.bmj.com