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Can you always definitely diagnose a stroke?

My mother had some leg numbness and says it now is weaker than her other leg. There were no additional symptoms that would point to stroke, but they did hospitalize her for tests. CAT scan , MRI and doppler of heart and carotid arteries did not show anything. Neither did blood tests. Dr. said it s possible that a small stroke can slip by. He didn t say it definitely was a stroke. I want my mom to look into other possible causes, such as something neurological -- possibly beginning of MS or anything -- just in case she should be getting treatment for something that isn t being diagnosed. She gets furious when I insinuate that it wasn t a stroke, because she is hell-bent that it was. She would prefer to just say she had a stroke, even though they didn t say it certainly was. Should you assume temporary leg numbness followed by weakness was a stroke when nothing else defines it as that? I d like to hear from anyone in the medical profession or anyone with a medical history of stroke.
Asked On : Sat, 19 Dec 2009
Answers:  2 Views:  263
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  User's Response
Stroke symptoms can easily mimic symptoms of other conditions and diseases. A relative began suffering small symptoms recently that I was certain were the result of mini-strokes -- slurred speech, loss of coordination. I did a lot of research on them and was convinced that was what was going on. I finally convinced her to see a doctor and she was finally diagnosed by a neurologist of having a mild form of MS -- no strokes. I was really stunned. After I started researching MS, I learned that the symptoms of strokes are shared by a lot of other conditions.
Answered: Sun, 20 Dec 2009
Orthopaedic Surgeon Dr. Praveen Tayal's  Response

Thanks for writing to us.

It is very difficult to say for certain that the symptoms your mother is having are because of stroke. Other organic causes like MS or degenerative disc disease must be ruled out first after a thorough evaluation from a neurologist. Stroke is not a very probable diagnosis.

I encourage you to consult a neurologist for detailed investigations.

I hope this information has been both informative and helpful for you.


Dr. Praveen Tayal

Answered: Sat, 15 Oct 2011
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