Amplification of Acute Focal Ischemic Deficit by Narcotics

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Abstract

Introduction

This article describes two patients with major ischemic stroke symptoms who had extremely small areas of acute brain infarction, suggestive of acute intrahemispheric diaschisis. Both patients were using narcotic analgesics during their stroke, and in both cases the clinical deficits improved dramatically with naloxone.

Discussion

We postulate that the narcotics amplified the ischemic stroke symptoms and that this effect was antagonized by naloxone.

Conclusion

This suggests that the opiate system may be involved in the process of intrahemispheric diaschisis.

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