What Is Wallenberg Syndrome?

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By albert
Feb 17, 2020
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Wallenberg syndrome, also called lateral medullary syndrome, is a type of stroke that affects the stem part of the brain. This is the region comprising the medulla oblongata. The syndrome occurs when blood supply is curtailed due to blockage within either of the two arteries supplying this region of the brain. The two arteries are known as vertebral artery and posterior inferior cerebellar artery.

Similar to other parts of the brain, when starved of oxygen for a length of time, the affected brain cells can no longer function properly and may end up dying. When this happens, it leads to the symptoms associated with Wallenberg syndrome. The condition, whose predisposing factors include smoking, hypertension, and diabetes, is more common in men aged 55 years or older.

1. Symptoms of Wallenberg Syndrome

The brain stem is responsible for the control of vital body functions including swallowing, muscle function, heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, and consciousness. This communication occurs through the spinal cord. It follows that in the event that Wallenberg syndrome occurs, it will interfere with these functions. The most common symptom of Wallenberg syndrome is the inability to swallow. This can have serious effects if it goes untreated because the affected person may not get adequate nutrition. Other Wallenberg syndrome symptoms include nausea, vomiting, a hoarse voice, imbalance, and dizziness. The patient may also have difficulty in walking, and suffer with hiccups, decreased sweating, and poor temperature sensation. Other symptoms include numbness and paralysis on one side of the body, which may affect the face, the limbs, or even the tongue.

Wallenberg Syndrome

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