Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up
Includes Expert Content
Massive Stroke & Paralysis
avatar
An_245679 posted:
My uncle suffered a massive stroke earlier this week. The left side of his body is/was paralyzed. I put it that way because when I visited him last night, I tickled his foot and it moved, along with the lower part of his leg. I don't understand. Since his doctors have said that he is dying, why is his leg/foot now reacting and moving? Please advise
Reply
 
avatar
Richard C Senelick, MD responded:
I am sorry to hear about your uncle. You are probably eliciting a "Babinski reflex " when you touch the bottom of his foot. This is a primitive reflex that we normally see in children up to the age of two years. When you scratch the bottom of the foot, the big toe extends upward. In adults it is an abnormal reflex and in a severe stroke the leg may withdraw.

Many families will interpret this withdrawl as a positive response that the person can feel the "pain" and is pulling their leg away. However, the truth is that it is an abnormal response and a sign of damage to the brain.

The best way to confirm this is to ask his doctors if this a Babinski reflex that you are seeing in your uncle.

Good Luck.
After your stroke you may be experiencing a new normal, but remember what George Eliot said- It is never too late to be what you might have been. You still can achieve new goals.


Featuring Experts

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

Helpful Tips

Any Exercise is Good!Expert
A recent study looked at exercise in people with Parkinson's Disease, http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/740854 but I think the results ... More
Was this Helpful?
4 of 7 found this helpful

Related News

There was an error with this newsfeed

Related Drug Reviews

  • Drug Name User Reviews

Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.