What is Wallenberg Syndrome?
Wallenberg syndrome or lateral medullary syndrome is a rare condition in which an infarction, or stroke, occurs in the lateral medulla in the brain. The lateral medulla is part of the brain stem.
Oxygen-containing blood does not reach the part of the brain with blocked arteries that occur due to stroke The condition is also sometimes called a lateral medullary infarction. To date the cause of Wallenberg syndrome is not yet clear.
Wallenberg Syndrome Causes
The cause of the appearance of Wallenberg syndrome is usually related to the presence of disorders of brain organs and blood vessels in the brain.
The most common underlying cause of Wallenberg syndrome is brain stem stroke in the vertebral cerebral artery or inferior posterior brain stem.
However, some other disorders or conditions reported to have been linked to Wallenberg syndrome include:
- Mechanical trauma to the vertebral artery in the neck
- Vertebral arteritis (inflammation of the arterial wall)
- Metastatic cancer
- Vertebral artery aneurysm
- Herpetic brain stem encephalitis (related to herpes)
- Head injury
- Arteriovenous malformations (AVM)
- Multiple sclerosis
- Varicella infection
- Tuberculosis of the brain stem
Wallenberg syndrome can also cause typical symptoms in the body. Some people may experience neurological changes on one side of their body, such as feeling cooler on the one hand.
People may feel pain, stinging, or numbness on one side of the body. This sensation can occur throughout the body but is more common in areas, such as the arms, legs, and face.
Wallenberg Syndrome Symptoms
The brain stem is an important structure that connects the motor and sensory spinal cord. The most common problem that becomes a causative agent is stroke, where the sufferer feels a weakness of muscle function and loses the sensation of feeling it.
Common symptoms of Wallenberg syndrome are dysphagia (eating disorder), and difficulty swallowing. As a result, it will affect the nutritional status for sufferers where the sufferer often has difficulty eating and drinking. As for other symptoms that can appear, such as:
- Vague hoarseness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Rapid eye movement and nystagmus
- Decrease in dryness production
- Decreased sensation function to changes in ambient temperature
- Spinning dizziness, difficulty walking, and difficulty maintaining body balance.
Sometimes, a person with Wallenberg syndrome has a history of paralysis and numbness sensation on one side of his body (unilateral). It often occurs in the lower extremities, legs, then face and a small part on the tongue.
We can also distinguish the sensation of heat and cold between the affected side of the body Wallenberg syndrome and the healthy side of the body. It is widely reported that many sufferers are unable to maintain their balance.
Other symptoms can be found, such as slowing the heart rate (bradycardia), and high or precisely low blood pressure. If you experience these symptoms, immediately discuss and consult the nearest doctor, each symptom and information you provide wi
ll further direct the diagnosis whether this is a true Wallenberg syndrome or not.
Wallenberg Syndrome Diagnosis
On a clinical level, it is easy to identify this pathology due to the magnitude of its manifestations and the limited properties of symptomatological varieties..
In emergency medical services, a preliminary physical examination makes it possible to identify the beginning of the presence of pathologies of cerebrovascular character..
Wallenberg Syndrome Treatment
The medical interventions used in Wallenberg syndrome are essentially symptomatic. They focus on the treatment of medical complications and the possible secondary functional impact on this.
In general, an approach similar to that designed for the treatment of str is usually used.
After stabilization in Wallenberg syndrome, physical and neuropsychological rehabilitation of patients is very important.
- Image: Henry Vandyke Carter, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
- Video: Kote’s Medical Animations