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Wallenberg's Syndrome

What is Wallenberg's Syndrome?

Wallenberg’s syndrome is a neurological condition caused by a stroke in the vertebral or posterior inferior cerebellar artery of the brain stem. 

Wallenberg's syndrome was first described in 1808 by the Geneva physician Gaspard Viesseux (1746-1814), who rendered an exact description of his own disease at a meeting of the Société médicochirugicale de Genève. First clinical description by Wallenberg in 1895.

Wallenberg's syndrome is also called Lateral Medullary Syndrome.

Symptoms of Wallenberg's Syndrome

Some common symptoms of Wallenberg's syndrome are:

  • difficulties with swallowing
  • paralysis on one side of the body
  • weak arms or legs
  • hoarseness
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • rapid involuntary movements of the eyes
  • uncontrollable hiccups
  • problems with balance and gait coordination. 

Some individuals with Wallenberg's syndrome will experience a lack of pain and temperature sensation on only one side of the face.

Can Wallenberg's Syndrome be Treated?

Wallenberg's syndrome can be treated . Treatment will depend on the severity of symptoms. Treatments are aimed at controlling the symptoms.

What is the Prognosis?

The outlook for someone with Wallenberg’s syndrome depends upon the size and location of the area of the brain stem damaged by the stroke.  Some individuals may see a decrease in their symptoms within weeks or months.  Others may be left with significant neurological disabilities for years after the initial symptoms appeared.

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