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Spinal Cord Stroke

Spinal Cord Stroke is a stroke either within the spinal cord or the arteries that supply it. It is caused by arteriosclerosis or a thickening or closing of the major arteries to the spinal cord. Frequently Spinal Cord Stroke is caused by a specific form of arteriosclerosis called atheromatosis, in which a deposit or accumulation of lipid-containing matter forms within the arteries. Symptoms, which generally appear within minutes or a few hours of the infarction, may include intermittent sharp or burning back pain, aching pain down through the legs, weakness in the legs, paralysis, loss of deep tendon reflexes, loss of pain and temperature sensation, and incontinence.

Is there any treatment for Spinal Cord Stroke

Treatment is symptomatic. Physical and occupational therapy may help individuals recover from weakness or paralysis. A catheter may be necessary for patients with urinary incontinence.

What is the prognosis for Spinal Cord Stroke

Recovery depends upon how quickly treatment is received and how severely the body is compromised. Paralysis may persist for many weeks or be permanent. Most individuals have a good chance of recovery.

What research is being done concerning Spinal Cord Stroke

NINDS conducts and supports research on disorders of the spinal cord such as Spinal Cord Stroke, aimed at learning more about these disorders and finding ways to prevent and treat them.

Organizations that  can help patients and families with Spinal Cord Stroke

Christopher Reeve Foundation & Resource Center
636 Morris Turnpike
Suite 3A
Short Hills, NJ 07078
[email protected]; [email protected]
Tel: 973-379-2690 800-225-0292
Fax: 973-912-9433

National Spinal Cord Injury Association
6701 Democracy Blvd.
Bethesda, MD 20817
[email protected]
Tel: 301-214-4006 800-962-9629
Fax: 301-881-9817

Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA)
801 18th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006-3517
[email protected]
Tel: 202-USA-1300 (872-1300) 800-424-8200
Fax: 202-785-4452

Prepared by:
Office of Communications and Public Liaison
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD 20892





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