A stroke occurs as a result of a disrupted blood supply to the brain due to a ruptured blood vessel or blockage of a vessel. There are 2 forms of stroke that you should be familiar with – ischemic (blockage of a blood vessel supplying the brain) and hemorrhagic (bleeding in or around the brain). When it comes to a sensory stroke, it is one of the several syndromes suffered after a stroke which results to persistent tingling, numbness or unpleasant sensations on one or both sides of the body.
A hemorrhagic stroke is due to weakened vessels around the brain that causes the blood to build-up at the site and results to the death of the brain tissues. A cerebral hemorrhage can lead to an uncommon occurrence of pure sensory stroke.
A lacunar infarction involves blockage of a small artery which results to tissue death in a deep structure found below the brain cortex. The thalamus which is a region of the brain in the deeper regions is supplied with blood via a unique set of arteries.
A lacunar stroke can occur differently from other forms of stroke since these arteries are smaller and susceptible than the other outer brain regions. The damage to the deeper regions can lead to sensory changes. A sensory stroke from lacunar infarction includes sudden numbness, facial paralysis or eye paralysis. In addition, lacunar infarction can lead to significant disability but its occurrence is uncommon.
Dejerine Roussy syndrome
A small percentage of individuals with stroke can suffer from Dejerine Roussy syndrome. The condition can cause various sensory abnormalities including disruption with temperature discernment and freezing or burning sensations.
The condition is not present in all cases though but based on studies, recurrent damage to the thalamus of the brain is a usual culprit. The perceptual distortion of pain is the initial sensory symptom present in this condition and the treatment involves stimulating the pain receptors.
What are the additional factors?
The risk for a sensory stroke increases if the individual has unhealthy lifestyle habits such as excessive consumption of alcohol and smoking. Those who have poor eating habits such as a diet rich in cholesterol are also at high risk for a stroke. The buildup of plaque can lead to blockage of the arterial blood flow. In addition, rupture of an aneurysm can occur in the deep regions of the brain linked with sensory functions.