Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Brainstem Strokes

  • Elliot J. RothEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_2216


A stroke that is caused by ischemia or hemorrhage in the midbrain, pons, or medulla is called a “brainstem stroke.” There are many brainstem stroke clinical syndromes, the presentation of each depending on the specific location in the brain stem that is involved. Most brainstem stroke syndromes result from ischemia due to partial blockage or complete occlusion of arteries in the vertebrobasilar system located at the posterior region of the brain.

Current Knowledge

Localization of the brainstem lesion can usually be made by recognizing the specific pattern of clinical deficits and understanding the anatomical basis for these clinical manifestations. Many of these strokes cause dysfunction of one or more of the many cranial nerves that originate from the brain stem. The specific clinical dysfunction, typically involving head and neck functions, localizes the tissue injury to the side that is ipsilateral to the clinical deficit. Some also involve motor or sensory deficits of...

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References and Readings

  1. Chua, K., & Kong, K. (1996). Functional outcome in brain stem stroke patients after rehabilitation. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 77, 194–197.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  2. Dauby, J.-D. (1996). The diving bell and the butterfly: A memoir of life in death. New York: Vintage.Google Scholar
  3. Nelles, G., et al. (1998). Recovery following lateral medullary infarction. Neurology, 50, 1418–1422.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physical Medicine and RehabilitationNorthwestern University, Feinberg School of MedicineChicagoUSA