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teenage stroke
nlam85 posted:
we are Americans living overseas. 3 weeks ago my perfectly healthy, athletic and drug free 16year old suffered a huge stroke which impaired his motor skills. In the 3 weeks since he has made remarkable progess and is almost back to his old self. but I am at a loss to find information or anyone who has had a teen suffer the same thing. Doctors can find no reason why this happened as all tests are negative. He is now on daily Plavix medications which greatly upsets his stomach and head and I simply can't bear to think he will be on these meds for the rest of his life. I need some answers, some guidance and some support -please!
JeffDaddy responded:
I had a student who seemed perfectly healthy, but had a stroke at 18 - so it does happen. She suffered some impairments, so your child is lucky.

I too have none of the risk factors that commonly cause stroke. So, I've never received an answer as to why. It's tough. There are a number of secondary things that may cause the stroke - gum disease, exhaust fumes, etc. It's like finding a lot of needles in the haystack some times.

I don't take Plavix, so I don't know what the long term effects are. I take Aggrenox and for the first month or two I had terrible headaches. I told my neurologist and he cut back the dose and I built up slowly to the required dose. You might ask about dose with the doctor.
nlam85 replied to JeffDaddy's response:
thank u JeffDaddy for the reply - we are indeed lucky my son is almost fully receovered. I hope that you are at the point where life has returned to relatively normal, though I don't think things are ever quite the same after something like this.

As you correctly stated, we have adjusted Max's meds to a lower dose and he seems to be doing well. He is scheduled to go for a transesophageal echocardiography of the heart to be sure everything is in order. I am not sure about this test so I will be contacting the pedatric stroke center in Philly (I've been in contact with them already) to hear their views on this. Seems teenage stroke is not uncommon and stroke is the 6th leading cause of death in children - a rather frightening figure.

stay well!
JeffDaddy replied to nlam85's response:
Unfortunately, I did not have a transesophageal echocardiogram. It was unfortunate because, according to my neurologist, this test is intended to determine if the source of my stroke was a heart defect it and heart defects are easily fixed (google Ted Bruschi for an example). Hopefully there are others on this board who can provide information regarding this test and its outcomes. You're right - that is an alarming statistic. Best of luck.
reaama76 responded:
I am so sorry your son has experienced this.

My 17 year old son recently suffered a stroke that was caused by an AVM. Also turns out that he was hypertensive which could have caused the rupture.

He still suffers from left-sided weakness, but is getting better & better everyday. The medications he is on are to treat high blood pressure.

Good luck to you. I hope you find answers soon.

tessaf1964 responded:
My son is 21 years old, and is at Texas Tech Hospital in the Medical ICU. He has suffered a stroke. I do not know what to expect. He can not use his left side, and the stroke is deep in his brain. Where do I turn.
JeffDaddy replied to tessaf1964's response:
I suggest reading My Stroke of Insight - it's a book written by a stroke victim that describes many of the trials she went through as she recovered, She also provides information on the medical background of strokes and suggestions for those people who are helping stroke victims. Best of luck as you help your son recover.
Richard C Senelick, MD responded:
When a young person has a stroke we look at a list of causes that are more common in younger people. Older stroke survivors frequently have hypertension, atherosclerosis, diabetes and other conditions that accumulate with age. In younger individuals it is important to also include a longer list. You have already told us that your son is drug free, an increasingly common cause of stroke. You need to ask his doctors if they looked for:
1. Problem with the blood that make it more likely to clot. This can take very specialized testing.
2. Blood clots in the heart, heart valves problems, or a hole in the heart called a " Patent Foramen Ovale ( PFO)".
3. A tear in the blood vessels in the neck called a "dissection." This would need an MRA, which is an MRI scan that looks at the blood vessels.

The list is longer and you can see that you need to see a neurologist and possibily a hematologist to look for rare blood problems.

If your son is having problems with Plavix, ask his doctors if they feel aspirin would work for him.

Good luck.
nlam85 replied to tessaf1964's response:
I apologize for not having not gone back to this site in a while, esp. since I'm the one who started it. I am so sorry your son has also suffered a stroke - Hopefully by now he is well on the road to recovery. To update you, my son has made an amazing recovery (yes, it is possible!) - to look and speak with him you would never know he had had a huge stroke. We are so very blessed. Time and therapy plus being so young have helped so much. He is still on his daily meds and I will be having him checked at the Children's Hospital/ Pediatric Stroke Center in Philly come Summer when we return to the States. There are several such centers around the US. I hope life has somewhat returned to normal for you. Best wishes.
nlam85 replied to Richard C Senelick, MD's response:
thank u Dr. Senelick for your reply.

Max had an extensive series of blood work done while in hospital but I do not know if these included all the specialized tests you mentioned. He has had his heart throughly examined including the scope to view the back. I do not know about the blood vessels in the neck but you can be sure I will be checking into this. Is there someplace I can find that list you mentioned? So far, there is no reason why this has happened to him.

While we do have a neurologist for him here in Singapore, I do not know if they are as experienced with young stroke patients (I think not) and if they are as rigorous with testing as in the US. Hence Max will be reviewed in the US this summer.

I am sure you have seen the recent article on the unbelieveable rise in strokes for males ages 15 to 35 in the last 10 years. 51% is staggering. In females is was much less but non the less an increase. May I ask your opinion? BTW, Max never drinks diet soda though he does has a fondness for salty food. Much appreciated!
Richard C Senelick, MD replied to nlam85's response:
Here is a link to a nice summary of stroke in young adults and the tests that should be performed. It is a bit dated but still covers the major areas ( investigation.)

As for diet sodas, time will tell. I always a skeptic when it comes to things like this, but stranger things have happened. It will take a much larger study to determine if this is really true.

I am glad to hear that Max will be getting a second opinion.

Good Luck.

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Richard C. Senelick M.D. is a physician specializing in both neurology and the subspecialty of neurorehabilitation. He did his undergraduate and medic...More

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