Causes of Childhood
The following are some causes
of childhood stroke. Unfortunately, many children that have had strokes the
cause is unknown.
Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome - What are Antiphospholipid antibodies? Under normal
circumstances, antibodies are proteins made by your immune system to fight
substances recognized as foreign by your body. Some examples of foreign
substances are bacteria and viruses. Sometimes the body's
own cells are recognized as foreign. In the Antiphospholipid antibody syndrome the
body recognizes phospholipids (part of a cell's membrane) as foreign and
produces antibodies against them.
Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome Information Page
Arteriovenous malformation (AVM)
- An arteriovenous malformation (AVM) is a
congenital disorder characterized by a complex, tangled web of arteries and
Birth Injury - Events during the time of birth that can damage
the developing brain.
Blood Clotting Disorders - Blood
Brain Infections - Encephalitis is an inflammation of the
brain. There are many types of encephalitis, most of which are caused by
viral infection. Symptoms include sudden fever, headache, vomiting,
photophobia (abnormal visual sensitivity to light), stiff neck and back,
confusion, drowsiness, clumsiness, unsteady gait, and irritability.
Symptoms that require emergency treatment include loss of consciousness,
poor responsiveness, seizures, muscle weakness, sudden severe dementia,
memory loss, withdrawal from social interaction, and impaired judgment. Meningitis
is an infection of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord.
Symptoms, which may appear suddenly, often include high fever, severe and
persistent headache, stiff neck, nausea, and vomiting. Changes in behavior
such as confusion, sleepiness, and difficulty waking up are extremely
important symptoms and may require emergency treatment. In infants symptoms of meningitis may include irritability
or tiredness, poor feeding and fever. Meningitis may be caused by many
different viruses and bacteria. Viral meningitis cases are usually
self-limited to 10 days or less.
Congenital Heart Disease (CHD)
Disseminated intravascular coagulation - Disseminated
intravascular coagulation occurs when the blood clotting mechanisms are
activated throughout the body instead of being localized to an area of
Drug Use - All of the disorders producing stroke in toddlers and
school-aged children may still produce stroke in adolescents. However, an
increasing percentage of strokes, of both ischemic and hemorrhagic types,
occur in relation to drug use. The most common drug causing stroke is
cocaine in its smoked form (crack). Smoked amphetamines (meth, ice, etc.). Any type of illicit drug injected
into the bloodstream can produce stroke.
Embolus -A blood clot that has formed at the site of blockage or
that has formed somewhere "upstream" in the arterial tree, has
broken off, and been carried "downstream" in the blood flow
through progressively smaller branches in the arterial tree, until it
enters a vessel too small to fit through, plugging it closed. An
Embolus often forms within the heart or one of the larger arteries leading
away from it, then breaks off and travels to the brain or another organ.
Factor V Leiden
- Factor V Leiden is characterized by a
phenomenon called APCR where a genetic mutation in the factor V gene causes
a change in the factor V protein making it resistant to inactivation by
Factor V Leiden:
Information & Support
Infection - Chicken Pox in extreme cases can be one cause of
Pox and Stroke
Moyamoya disease - Moyamoya Disease is a progressive disease that affects
the blood vessels in the brain. It is characterized by narrowing and/or
closing of the main artery to the brain. This lack of blood may cause
paralysis of the feet, legs or the upper extremities. Headaches, various
vision problems, mental retardation, and psychiatric problems may also
Moya-Moya Information Page
MELAS - MELAS syndrome is one of a group of rare muscular
disorders. These rare muscular disorders are disorders in which a
defect in genetic material arises from a part of the cell structure that
releases energy resulting in disease of the brain and muscles. The most
characteristic symptom of MELAS syndrome is recurring, stroke-like episodes
in which sudden headaches are followed by vomiting and seizures. Short
stature, an accumulation of lactic acid in the blood, and muscular weakness
on one side of the body (Hemiparesis) are
typically present. Visual symptoms may include impaired vision or blindness
in one half of the visual field (Hemianopsia)
and/or blindness due to lesions in the area of the brain concerned with
vision (cortical blindness). Although the exact cause of MELAS syndrome is
not fully understood, it has been found to run in families.
Polycythemia - An overproduction of
blood cells, which can cause "thickening" of blood, increasing its viscosity and its clotting tendency.
Prematurity - Preterm or
"premature" birth is when your baby is born three weeks or more
before it's due date.
Sickle Cell Anemia/Disease - Sickle cell disease causes the red
blood cells to make abnormal hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the part of blood
that carries oxygen in the body. There are different kinds of sickle cell
disease. Some kinds are mild, but others cause serious illness.
Sickle cell anemia is caused by Hemoglobin S, an abnormal type of
Hemoglobin. You inherit Sickle Cell Disease from both parents who are
carriers of Hemoglobin S.
Cell Anemia Association
Vasculitis - Vasculitis
is an inflammation of the blood vessel system, which includes the veins,
arteries, and capillaries. Vasculitis may affect
blood vessels of any type, size, or location, and therefore can cause
dysfunction in any organ system, including the central and peripheral
nervous systems. The symptoms of vasculitis
depend on which blood vessels are involved and what organs in the body are
affected. The disorder may occur alone or with other disorders such as
temporal arteritis. Temporal arteritis
(also called cranial or giant cell arteritis) is
an inflammation of the temporal artery (which runs over the temple, beside
the eye). Symptoms of this disorder may include stiffness, muscle pain,
fever, severe headaches, pain when chewing, and tenderness in the temple
area. Other symptoms may include anemia, fatigue, weight loss, shaking,
vision loss, and sweats.
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