Overload

Stroke

Category: Illness or disabilities

Type

Involuntary

Introduction and description

A stroke is the rapidly developing loss of brain function(s) due to disturbance in the blood supply to the brain.  Strokes can be classified into two major categories: ischemic and hemorrhagic. 

  • Ischemic strokes are those that are caused by interruption of the blood supply caused by
    • Local Thrombosis  -obstruction of a blood vessel by a blood clot forming locally
    • Embolism  - obstruction due to an embolus from elsewhere in the body.  An embolus is a travelling particle in the arterial bloodstream originating from elsewhere. It can be a thrombus, but it can also be fat, air, cancer cells or clumps of bacteria
    • Systemic hypoperfusion  - Systemic hypoperfusion is the reduction of blood flow to all parts of the body. It is most commonly due to cardiac arrest or arrhythmias, from reduced cardiac output as a result of myocardial infarction, from pulmonary embolism, pericardial effusion, or bleeding. It can also result from shock. Hypoxemia (low blood oxygen content) may precipitate the hypoperfusion.
    • Venous thrombosis
  • Hemorrhagic strokes are the ones which result from rupture of a blood vessel or an abnormal vascular structure.

About 87% of strokes are caused by ischemia, and the remainder by hemorrhage.

As a result, the affected area of the brain is unable to function. 

Symptoms

People suspected of having a stroke can be asked to stick their
tongue out. A tongue that doesn’t appear straight, droops or slants
to one side instead of coming straight out of the mouth indicates a
stroke. Other methods to determine the necessity of immediate
medical help for a stroke victim is asking the person to smile or
speak a simple sentence. Difficulties with those activities or with
raising the arms above the head indicate a stroke.

Stroke symptoms typically start suddenly, over seconds to minutes. The symptoms depend on the area of the brain affected. The more extensive the area of brain affected, the more functions that are likely to be lost. Loss of consciousness, headache, and vomiting usually occurs more often in hemorrhagic stroke than in thrombosis because of the increased intracranial pressure from the leaking blood compressing the brain.

A silent stroke is a stroke that does not have any outward symptoms, and the patient is typically unaware they have suffered a stroke. Despite not causing identifiable symptoms, a silent stroke still causes damage to the brain, and places the patient at increased risk for both transient ischemic attack and major stroke in the future. Conversely, those who have suffered a major stroke are at risk of having silent strokes.

Silent strokes typically cause lesions which are detected via the use of neuroimaging such as MRI. Silent strokes are estimated to occur at five times the rate of symptomatic stroke.

A stroke is a medical emergency and can cause permanent neurological damage, complications, and death. It is the leading cause of adult disability in the United States and Europe and the second leading cause of death worldwide.

Causes

Grace Kelly had a stroke

The tide is turning on opinion of what causes strokes.  At one time medical people told us with some authority that it was all caused by cholesterol.  Then they added smoking for good measure.  But the former theory at least has lost most of its support from thinking medical people, as has the theory that somehow lowering cholesterol helps you.  Cholesterol is a symptom not a cause.  Smoke is a toxin, and there is plenty of evidence that toxins are one cause - but not the only cause. 

The original research on which cholesterol was outlawed, made a very tenuous link between the existence of high cholesterol and heart disease. 

But this is like saying you have noticed that every time a train is late in the station the stationmaster comes out, so it is important you shoot the station master because he is obviously the cause of the late train.  The whole logic on which cholesterol has obtained a bad name was flawed.

 

So what are the real causes?

Causes can be long term accumulation of blood clots and emboli or short term creation of them via surgery or trauma. 

What then may dislodge them is shock.  In effect, it occasionally takes some traumatic event to send the blood racing round the arteries and veins sweeping off all the detritus it has accumulated and sending this detritus to either your brain or your heart.  If it goes to your heart you have a cardiac arrest, if it goes to your brain you have a stroke.

Elizabeth David, the cookery writer had a stroke, probably brought on by the ending of her love affair with Peter Higgins.  Her book French Provincial Cooking (1960) was dedicated to "P.H, with love". The affair lasted throughout the 1950s and into the 1960s.  Higgins, left Elizabeth for a younger woman, and the shock resulted in a cerebral haemorrhage. She recovered, but her sense of taste was temporarily affected, and her confidence was badly shaken.

Neal with her husband and family

Occasionally hormonal disruptions or pregnancy can also result in a stroke as they both cause disruptions to normal blood circulation. 

Patricia Neal married Roald Dahl in 1953, they had five children.  In the early 1960s, the couple suffered through grievous injury to one child in 1960,  and the death of another in 1962. While pregnant in 1965, Neal suffered three burst cerebral aneurysms, and was in a coma for three weeks. Dahl directed her rehabilitation and she subsequently relearned to walk and talk - "I think I'm just stubborn, that's all". On August 4, 1965, she gave birth to a healthy daughter, Lucy.

An alternative event, but one which has the same effect is sudden frenetic exercise causing the blood to pump round the body at the same rate as shock might do.  As you get older, gentle exercise makes sense, but any sport requiring considerable exertion does run the risk of dislodging detritus.  One of my friends died of a stroke from playing squash.

 

In 1983, after filming the pilot episode for the television series Hotel,
Bette Davis was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a mastectomy.
Within two weeks of her surgery she suffered four strokes which caused
paralysis in the left side of her face and in her left arm, and left her with
slurred speech. She commenced a lengthy period of physical therapy and,
aided by her personal assistant, Kathryn Sermak, gained partial recovery
from the paralysis.

Physical injury and surgery

Physical injury to the head, but also surgery in general can cause strokes.  The problem with all surgery is that it introduces blood clots into the body at the site of the operation.  Anaesthetists are normally given the job of trying to minimise the risk, the medical profession are, however, well aware of the risks of all surgery in this respect...

Different techniques and interventions that can be used by an anaesthesiologist to minimize the perioperative stroke risk are summarized.......The most important risk factors for perioperative stoke are not modifiable, for example previous stroke or renal failure, but they can be used to identify patients with a high risk for perioperative stroke. .....Perioperative stroke increases morbidity and mortality of patients undergoing surgery ..... Neuromonitoring should be used to detect a deterioration of cerebral blood flow and oxygen supply immediately. .....The anesthesia for patients with a high risk for stroke has always to be performed by an experienced anaesthesiologist who is able to individualize the therapeutic interventions. PMID: 23511039

 Viral infection

There is more and more evidence appearing now on Pubmed to support the theory that some  strokes are from a blood clot related to vulnerable soft plaque due to an active infection in the arterial wall.  This infection is often caused by the herpes viruses as they are quite common, but there are links to CMV- cytomegalic virus,  EBV,  the chicken pox virus VZV.... 

Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) is herpes virus that after its reactivation from nerve ganglia to cause herpes zoster may lead to a variety of neurologic complications, including encephalitis, meningitis, retinal necrosis or myelitis. In addition, VZV can spread to arteries in the central nervous system and cause hemorrhagic or ischemic complications due to an inflammatory vasculopathy. In fact, there is a growing epidemiological and clinical recognition that there is an association between VZV reactivation and subsequent strokes. Herein, we present a case of an immune compromised individual with reactivation of VZV causing dermatomal herpes zoster followed by multifocal vasculopathy. We also review the literature to highlight key aspects of VZV-associated vasculopathy.  PMID: 25211583

Then we have the rubella virus [and the Haemophilus influenzae bacteria].....

Children, who presented with stroke, were evaluated at the Division of Pediatric Neurology or admitted to King Khalid University Hospital, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during the periods July 1992 to February 2001  …Of the 104 Saudi children with stroke, seen during the study periods ….. infectious and inflammatory disorders of the circulatory system were the identified risk factor in 18 (17.3%). …. The causative organism was identified in 3 of them and consisted of Haemophilus influenzae (in a 5-month-old girl), …. and the third had congenital rubella syndrome. ….. Two patients presented with cerebrovascular disease following systemic lupus erythematosus. These were a 12-year-old girl and a 5-year-old boy. PMID:16532131

Lupus is associated with the viruses parvovirus B19, Epstein-Barr virus, and cytomegalovirus

Vaccines

US country singer Randy Travis had a stroke
whilst receiving reatment in hospital for a viral
infection.

Strokes can be caused by viruses.  Many viruses, once in the system never leave us, but are temporarily subdued until our immune system is compromised, at which point they re-emerge.  This can happen many years later in, for example, old age. So strokes in old age can be caused by viruses caught when young.  But there is another source of viruses - vaccines.

Many vaccines contain live viruses as the agent.  Some are slightly less virulent than the 'wild' strain, some are actually made to be more virulent in the belief that somehow we gain more immunity by being bombarded by something truly deadly.  And it is very clear that these viruses re-emerge.....

Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) is a neurotropic herpesvirus, which can cause a variety of complications during varicella infections. These range from meningoencephalitis to polyneuritis to retinitis. After primary VZV infection, VZV enters the dorsal root ganglia in a latent state. Reactivation from latency leads to zoster. The velocity of VZV is 13 cm per day, as the virus travels from ganglion to skin.
The live attenuated varicella vaccine virus is markedly less neurovirulent than the wild-type virus. Nevertheless, a few cases of herpes zoster due to the vaccine virus have been documented. Usually, herpes zoster occurs in the same arm as the vaccination, often 3 or more years after vaccination. Thus, herpes zoster in a vaccinee often represents a reactivation of vaccine virus that was carried to the cervical dorsal root ganglia from a site of local replication in the arm.  PMID: 22889542

A virus is with us for ever.  And it may be the cause of a stroke.

Bacterial infection

Bacterial infection is now recognised as a very important, but often overlooked cause of strokes. As we saw above they can be caused by an embolus - a travelling particle in the arterial bloodstream originating from elsewhere. It can be a thrombus, but it can also be clumps of bacteria.  Bacteria can also attack the arterial wall and cause blood clots.  Although the following paper is about children, there are other papers on PubMed that link these and many other bacteria with stroke

Children, who presented with stroke, were evaluated at the Division of Pediatric Neurology or admitted to King Khalid University Hospital, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during the periods July 1992 to February ….. Of the 104 Saudi children with stroke ….. infectious and inflammatory disorders of the circulatory system were the identified risk factor in 18 (17.3%). Five children had stroke following acute bacterial meningitis at ages ranging between 5-21 months. The causative organism was identified in 3 of them and consisted of ….Streptococcus pneumoniae …. and Staphylococcus aureus …. Two girls had stroke following septicemia at ages of one and 2 months. Neurobrucellosis caused stroke in 2 boys at the ages of 4 1/2 and 4 years. PMID:16532131

 

One frequently overlooked source of bacteria is the mouth.  People with gingivitis and gum disease, where bacteria may enter the blood stream from bleeding gums, run a higher risk of stroke than those who make sure their teeth and gums are healthy.  The bacteria from the mouth can cause both heart valve damage and atherosclerosis.  Incidentally it does no good to use mouthwash in the vain hope that somehow this will solve everything.  It doesn't.

Parasites

Not all parasites enter the blood stream if they manage to gain entry to the body, but some do and their irritant action has much the same effect in that a blood clot may form as the parasite buries itself in the vulnerable soft plaque of the arterial wall.

Endothelial dysregulation is central to the pathogenesis of acute Plasmodium falciparum infection. It has been assumed that this dysregulation resolves rapidly after treatment, but this return to normality has been neither demonstrated nor quantified. We therefore measured a panel of plasma endothelial markers acutely and in convalescence in Malawian children with uncomplicated or cerebral malaria. Evidence of persistent endothelial activation and inflammation, indicated by increased plasma levels of soluble intracellular adhesion molecule 1, angiopoetin 2, and C-reactive protein, were observed at 1 month follow-up visits. These vascular changes may represent a previously unrecognized contributor to ongoing malaria-associated morbidity and mortality. PMID:  24048963

"Mitzy the cat didn’t get to see her human for three weeks after the woman was sent

to the hospital due to a stroke. It was a touching reunion when they finally met at the

rehab facility where she is recovering"..... Cats, a blessing and a curse ....... 



Lest we think that this is a problem of tropical countries we should not forget the role of the domestic cat.

To determine whether Toxoplasma gondii infection could modify biological phenomena associated with brain ischemia, we investigated the effect of permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) on neuronal survival, inflammation and redox state in chronically infected mice. Infected animals showed a 40% to 50% decrease of infarct size compared with non-infected littermates 1, 4 and 14 days after MCAO. …. Overall, these findings indicate that chronic toxoplasmosis decisively influences both the inflammatory molecular events and outcome of cerebral ischemia.  PMID:  18006239

 And particularly sad and unpleasant is that these parasites can pass from mother to fetus....

Of the 104 Saudi children with stroke ….. 3 children had an underlying congenital infection as a cause for their stroke. Two of the latter 3 children were diagnosed to have congenital toxoplasmosis PMID:  16532131

 Another culprit is the Echinococcus parasite, which, if it manages to get into the blood stream is also able to adhere to the arterial walls and form 'plaques' which could break off in times of stress and rapid blood flow, for example

This paper describes experiments in vitro to investigate the interaction between isolated protoscoleces from Echinococcus granulosus and E. multilocularis and human endothelial cells in monolayer culture. During a maximum coculture period of 48 h neither protoscoleces nor endothelial cells showed evidence of cytotoxicity. However, protoscoleces adherent to either endothelial cells or artificial substrata developed a glycocalyx-like coat. …. serum contains both inhibitory and promoting factors for protoscolex adhesion, a finding of possible significance for the therapeutic prevention of systemic spread of established Echinococcus infections.  PMID:  3438292

The fox is a serious carrier of parasites and spreads Echinococcosis.  In countries where dogs and cats are not wormed and their faeces safely disposed of, domestic dogs and cats can also be a problem.

 

James Garner was a very heavy smoker for most of his life.  He had

"six or seven knee operations"  in the 1970s and in 2000 he underwent

knee replacement surgery for both of them.  On April 22, 1988, he had

quintuple bypass heart surgery. Garner underwent surgery on May 11,

2008, following a severe stroke he had suffered two days earlier

Toxins

The role of smoke as an irritant and its ability to cause strokes, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis and a host of ther diseases has long been known, but the emphasis on smoke has served to deflect attention from all the other toxins that act as irritants in the blood stream. 

One of the more recent additions to the long list of toxic agents is the nanoparticle - invented by scientists and being released into the environment by scientists in the belief that they do no harm, except that yet other researchers have realised they do a lot of harm......

....DNA damage occurs chemically or physically by nanomaterials. Chemical and physical damage are associated with point mutation by free radicals and double strand brake, respectively. The failure of DNA repair and accumulation of mutations might occur when inflammation is prolonged, and finally normal cells could become malignant. These free radicals can not only damage cells but also induce signaling molecules containing immunoreaction. Nanoparticles and asbestos also induce the production of free radicals. .... Taken together,... a variety of diseases [may be] induced by nanomaterials. PMID: 25097864

 

 Heavy metals

 All heavy metals including lead and mercury act as irritants in the blood stream.

We investigated the ability of cadmium and mercury ions to cause endothelial dysfunction in bovine pulmonary artery endothelial cell monolayers. Exposure of monolayers for 48 h to metal concentrations greater than 3-5 microM produced profound cytotoxicity (increased lactate dehydrogenase leakage), a permeability barrier failure, depletion of glutathione and ATP and almost complete inhibition of the activity of key thiol enzymes, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PDH) and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH). ….. oxidative stress and cytotoxicity induced by lower concentrations of the metal ions stimulate compensatory responses, including increased synthesis of glutathione…. however these responses were not sustainable at higher metal ion concentrations.PMID:  16752219

Thus as long as you are producing enough glutathione very small concentrations are dealt with, but larger concentrations cannot be and you will get deposits of metal on the arterial walls which may later form emboluses.

In this we should not forget the role of dental amalgam fillings, as they are mercury based.  Where a filling is leaking or poor dental work has been undertaken, then the mercury may be the cause.

 Pharmaceuticals

 

Pharmaceuticals act as toxins in the blood stream simply because they are generally 'foreign agents'.  The eHealthme site has a list of all the pharmaceuticals that have been implicated in causing a stroke. 

These are not anecdotal reports but based on the Adverse Drug Reports submitted to the FDA and SEDA.  We have had difficulties trying to link to this site, as they have reorganised a number of times and broken the links we carefully set up to the specific pages on which the information can be found. 

Thus we have decided the best way is to give you instructions on how to find the information yourself. 

Go to the eHealthme site by following this LINK.  In the box 'enter a drug or condition' type 'stroke'.  You should get a list of all the different sorts of stroke.  Choose the type that you have from the list.  For example, by choosing 'Haemorrhagic stroke', it will take you to a page which has a graph of the number of stokes reported that have been due to pharmaceuticals.  Scroll down.  Under the heading 'Drugs that could cause Haemorrhagic stroke', press this link.  This will then give you several pages of drugs, in alphabetic order, implicated in causing that kind of stroke.  The list shows the drug, the Number of stroke reports and a link to the support group if one exists.

 Here is an interesting little statistic gleaned from the past, for those who put forward the theory that aspirin prevents stroke....

On Sep, 8, 2014: 161,027 people reported to have side effects when taking Aspirin. Among them, 3,843 people (2.39%) have Stroke.

And here we have a diabetes medication of possibly even more interest

On Sep, 26, 2014: 65,460 people reported to have side effects when taking Avandia. Among them, 7,752 people (11.84%) have Stroke.

Fungal infection

Fungi can also cause strokes as well as the mycotoxins that fungi produce, but it seems that it is occasionally the medical profession's use of immunosuppressant drugs that enable the fungi to enter the system.

Although fungal mycotic aneurysms of the ICA are rare, their incidence may increase with the expanded use of immunosuppressive medications. Patients ... who take potent immunosuppression regimens may be prime candidates for mycotic aneurysms because they often have two favoring conditions: atherosclerosis and immunosuppression. These ICA aneurysms carry a high mortality rate, so early diagnosis  is essential. PMID: 25045858

Food allergy or other allergies

 

Food that has found its way into the blood stream, is no different from the body's point of view to a heavy metal, or some other form of toxin.  It is not regarded as a virus or a bacteria, or a parasite, all of which have stealth capability - intelligence - but it is still an invader, thus the immune system responds in the same way it would if it came across lead or mercury, for example, it forms a memory of it so that it can be recognised again and then proceeds to engulf it and try to get it out of the system.  Occasionally it succeeds, occasionally it doesn't.  Occasionally this harmful little package ends up on the walls of our arteries and contributes to atherosclerosis.  Thus in the long term, food allergy leds to the build up of plaque and plaque leads to strokes.

So how does food get into the blood stream?

 

Food enters the blood stream if the protective effect of our intestinal flora, or the protective effects of the stomach acid or the enzymes that process food have been compromised.   If these primary defences are not working food can leak into the blood stream.  If we have a food allergy, then it is certain this is what has been happening, thus although the heading says food allergy this is a symptom not a cause.  But it is a very important symptom because it is a risk factor.  If we have a food allergy or any other allergy we are at risk from a stroke, as it means that particles have entered the blood stream and may have been deposited on the arterial walls.

If this has happened only once or twice then the risk is extremely low if not non existent, but if the breaching of the protective barriers has happened a considerable number of times then the risk increases. 

So what compromises our protective gastrointestinal and enzyme system?  These are all causes, if any of the following have happened repeatedly the risk of a stroke has increased each time it has happened:

  •  
    Food and drink overdose - It doesn't actually matter what the food or drink  is, but if we have too much of it, it seems that the body is unable to process it and it can enter our blood circulatory system.
  • Pharmaceuticals - Pharmaceuticals can destroy gut flora, as well as neutralise stomach acid and compromise bile acid. They also have a poor record for disrupting and destroying enzymes.  If you are taking any of these on a regular basis you run the risk of a stroke.  
    This LINK takes you to the eHealthme drugs that have caused 'Abnormality in enzymes' - about 2000 pharmaceuticals.  ....Methotrexate, allopurinol and the activated form of acyclovir are all enzyme inhibitors. Some so called  anti-epileptic drugs alter enzyme activity. Another example of a medicinal enzyme inhibitor is sildenafil (Viagra), a common treatment for male erectile dysfunction. Aspirin is an enzyme inhibitor as are ACE inhibitors. If we now turn to stomach acid, bile acids, and gut flora, the indiscriminate use of antibiotics, antidepressants, acne treatments, aspirin, proton pump inhibitors, heartburn and ulcer treatments, plus numerous other pharmaceuticals destroys our intestinal flora, and the defences provided by our stomach.
  • t
     Nutritional deprivation - Any form of mineral imbalance, vitamin imbalance, acid/alkaline food imbalance or other food imbalance will result in two things.  In the first place the organs of the gastrointestinal system will no longer operate as effectively, leading to the risk of infiltration by food and other pathogens.  In the second place, the gut flora described above also needs feeding, so if we deprive the gut flora, we effectively deprive ourselves of their help.
  • Viruses  -Viruses can compromise and destroy intestinal flora and the protective action of the gastrointestinal system.
  • Parasites - Parasites affect the Intestines and the stomach and compromise our defences as a consequence
  • Birth method - There is a school of thought that says the method of birth of a baby has a bearing on the gut flora it is able to develop.  Infants born by cesarean section—particularly cesareans performed before labor begins—don’t encounter the bacteria of the birth canal and are thus permanently deprived of full protection
  • Toxins - toxins can attack and destroy the intestinal flora and compromise the function of the entire gastrointestinal system, including the enzymes. Toxins in this context include heavy metals such as lead and mercury.  We saw that  enzyme inhibitors can also disrupt or completely destroy the enzymes that process food.  Enzyme inhibitors are used as pesticides.
  • Copper imbalance - Copper is an antibacterial agent.  If you have too much copper in your system it can destroy your intestinal flora. 
  • Surgery - can compromise the effectiveness of any of the organs in the gastrointestinal system.  Note that this includes gastric bands and other surgery used on the obese.  Removing the gall bladder, for example, is not helpful.
  • Radiation - of all sorts can damage the workings of the gastrointestinal system
  • Bacterial infection - although we have so called 'friendly bacteria, there are a vast number of very unfriendly bacteria that can damage and infect the gastrointestinal system and lead to it not working properly.
  • Vaccines - In the sections above I cover all the ways the gastrointestinal system can be breached.  But there appears to be one way in which all these defences are breached by being totally by-passed and that is via vaccines. Vaccines are not just some agent in a benign liquid.  They contain an adjuvant - a booster to get the immune system kick started and an excipient and the excipient can contain a vast range of food stuffs and E numbered chemicals, all of which will swill round the blood circulatory system being treated as a pathogen.  This LINK takes you to the Wikipedia list of ingredients.  Put rather crudely the more vaccinations you have had the more likely it is you will get a stroke, simply because you will have been injected with more excipient [and adjuvant].

 The following finding may also be of interest.

Influenza vaccination had no association with the primary outcome .... the risk of stroke and myocardial infarction did not differ between the vaccinated group and the unvaccinated group ....Influenza vaccination was not associated with reduced outcome events in patients with recent atherothrombotic ischemic stroke after considering all baseline characteristics (including concomitant medications) associated with influenza vaccination.  PMID: 24789867

 Radiation

 

All radiation whether 'cosmic' or electromagnetic impacts our bodies and depending on its frequency it resonates different parts of us.  The reason that nuclear radiation is so dangerous is that it impacts cells, but what we appear to have overlooked is that all radiation impacts some part of us.

Every aggregate in our bodies - organs, cells, the body itself, has natural ‘resonance’.  Resonance is a substance’s natural tendency to oscillate – vibrate – at maximum amplitude at certain frequencies, known as the thing’s resonant frequency.  And our blood vessels may be vibrated too.

If they are vibrated it may be this that dislodges the embolisms and other detritus. 

Treatment

Richard Burton died from a stroke at the age of 58, he both
smoked and drank heavily

Symptom based medicine - 'Medical management' for stroke includes advice on diet, exercise, smoking and alcohol use.  Medication or drug therapy is the most common method of stroke treatment.  Prevention of recurrence may involve the administration of antiplatelet drugs such as aspirin and dipyridamole, control and reduction of hypertension, and the use of statins. Some  patients are given anticoagulants. 

But given the causes, none of these are any use at all, as the virus will still be there, the bacteria will still be there, the parasite will still be there, the toxins will still be there, the heavy metals will still be there and the fungi will still be there.

Cause based medicine -  Find the cause.   Always look for the cause, always - see healing yourself.

 

How it works

Not all strokes cause spiritual experiences [although coma victims have been known to have spiritual experiences that they do remember].  

  • Hemorrhagic strokes result in tissue injury by causing compression of tissue from an expanding hematoma or hematomas. This can distort and injure tissue. In addition, the pressure may lead to a loss of blood supply to affected tissue causing  hypoxia, and the blood released by brain hemorrhage appears to have direct toxic effects on brain tissue and vasculature causing cell death. 
  • In an Ischemic stroke, brain tissue ceases to function if deprived of oxygen for more than 60 to 90 seconds and after approximately three hours, will suffer irreversible injury possibly leading to death of the tissue. 

Thus, where a spiritual experience results, the stroke may have caused the spiritual experience via short term hypoxia or via long term brain damage.

So depending on the ability of the doctors to treat the emergency, a person may only obtain a one-off spiritual experience from the hypoxia induced stroke or may suffer permanent spiritual experience in the form of hallucinations, visions or on a more positive note inspiration or wisdom, from the damage done to the brain itself.

References and further reading

Papers

  • Am J Med Sci. 2014 Sep 9. [Epub ahead of print]  Varicella-Zoster Virus Vasculopathy: The Growing Association Between Herpes Zoster and Strokes.  Powell DR 2nd1, Patel S, Franco-Paredes C.  1Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital (DRP, SP, CF-P), Infectious Diseases, Albany, Georgia; and Hospital Infantil de Mexico (CF-P), Federico Gomez, Mexico City, Mexico.
  • Biometals. 2007 Feb;20(1):73-81. Epub 2006 Jun 4.  Cadmium and mercury cause an oxidative stress-induced endothelial dysfunction.  Wolf MB1, Baynes JW.  Department of Pharmacology, Physiology & Neuroscience, University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Columbia, SC 29208, USA. wolf@med.sc.edu

Organisations

  • Stroke Association  Stroke Helpline: 0303 3033 100  Email: info@stroke.org.uk; Website: stroke.org.uk - Contact for information about stroke, emotional support and details of local services and support groups.

  • Locked-in syndrome - Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability  Tel: 020 8780 4500  Website: www.rhn.org.uk - This charity provides assessments, rehabilitation and care for people with brain damage or brain disease. They also have a variety of assistive technologies that help people with locked-in syndrome to communicate.

  • National Rehabilitation Information Center    Website: www.naric.com - An American website through which you can access research studies into recovery and long-term outcomes for people affected by locked in syndrome.

  • ALIS – Association du Locked-in Syndrome  Website: www.alis-asso.fr - A French website about locked-in syndrome. Depending on the web browser you use, you may be able to view an English version of this website.

  • Fighting strokes  Answerphone helpline: 0114 236 9222  Website: www.fightingstrokes.org - A charity that aims to inspire people with locked-in syndrome, particularly young people.

  • Stroke support group  - Website: www.strokesupportgroup.org/ forums/forum/109-locked-in-syndrome Online support group, including a forum for people affected by locked-in syndrome.

  • Locked-in syndrome website Website: www.mlongo.net/home.php  A website from someone with locked-in syndrome in Malta.

  • RNIB - Tel: 0303 123 9999 Website: www.rnib.org.uk - Information and support for people with visual problems. Has useful information about coping with hallucinations.
  • British Dietetic Association - Tel: 0121 200 8080 - Website: www.bda.uk.com  Provide factsheets on various aspects of diet and nutrition.

Books

  •  The diving bell and the butterfly - Jean-Dominique Bauby; Paperback 1997 Fourth Estate, London. Mr Bauby was the editor of the French magazine Elle. He had a massive brain stem stroke resulting in locked-in syndrome.  He dictated this book by blinking his eye in response to assistants reading out the letters of the alphabet. His story was released as an award-winning film in 2007.

  • In the blink of an eye - Hasso and Catherine von Bredow Hardback 2009 Orion Publishing. - Hasso von Bredow (a father of three and successful businessman) suffered a massive brainstem stroke, leaving him with locked-in syndrome. He used coded blinking and state of the art technology to write this moving and life-affirming memoir, helped only by his wife.

Observations

 

In January 1996, Kirk Douglas  suffered a severe stroke, partially impairing his ability to speak. Douglas celebrated a second Bar-Mitzvah ceremony in 1999 at the age of eighty-three.

In 2001, Douglas met with ABILITY Magazine to discuss his book My Stroke of Luck. He said,

"After my stroke I started to think, 'What good is an actor who can't talk?' My wife helped me a lot because...you see, when a person becomes disabled, often their family starts thinking, 'Oh dear, don't move, let me get that for you' and all that.

But, when once I told my wife that I thought I wanted breakfast in bed the next morning, she said the old joke, "If you want breakfast in bed, sleep in the kitchen."

 

Related observations