Dr Ira Shah
Consultant Pediatrician, Nanavati Hospital and B.J.Wadia Hospital for Children, Mumbai
Editor - Pediatric Oncall
What is hemiplegia?
Hemiplegia or stroke is a neurological event by which a person loses capability to use one side of the body. This is due to weakness of the muscles of the upper and lower limb on one side.
What are the causes of hemiplegia?
There are several causes of stroke. Usually sudden onset of stroke occurs due to clot in the blood vessel supplying that part of the brain that controls movement of the opposite side of the limbs or due to a massive brain hemorrhage. Sometimes hemiplegia may evolve slowly and this could be due to slow growing tumor in brain or degenerative brain disorder or a blood in the brain. Occasionally, demyelination such as multiple sclerosis can cause stroke. Infections of the brain such as tuberculosis, brain abscess, encephalitis can also lead to stroke. Sometimes trauma can lead to weakness of one side of body.
How is the diagnosis of hemiplegia made?
The diagnosis of hemiplegia is made clinically by your doctor. However, to determine the cause of hemiplegia, your doctor may advise certain tests such as CT or MRI of the brain. Depending on whether it is a clot or a bleed or infection; further tests may be advised.
What is the treatment of hemiplegia?
Patients with stroke need to undergo physiotherapy to improve the power in the affected muscles. They may also need to undergo speech therapy if speech is also affected. Depending on the cause medications such as anti-clotting agents (in case of clot), antibiotics and antivirals (in case of infection) may be prescribed.
Will the patient with stroke have complete recovery?
Usually, if muscles begin to regain their power in 24 hours, the recovery is complete in case of brain clots. However recovery also depends on the physiotherapy that one undergoes which should be started as soon as possible. Also in other causes stroke, recovery depends on the primary problem also.
Last Updated On 26/11/2010