Disorders of Brain Function

Bonnie is a 70-year-old woman who lives alone. One evening, she felt light-headed and dizzy. When her head began to ache, she decided to take an analgesic and go to bed early. The following morning, upon awakening, she was unable to move the bed sheets with her right arm. At this point she was experiencing tingling sensations in her limbs, and she had difficulty keeping her balance. She dialed 911 for help, and by the time the ambulance arrived, she was confused and unable to articulate her words although she knew what information he was asking of her. In the hospital, she was examined and treated for ischemic stroke.

  1. Stroke, or brain attack, involves brain tissue injury. Describe ischemic penumbra and what factors contribute to the survival of the neurons involved. What happens if the cells of the penumbra are unable to be preserved?
  2. Compare and contrast hypoxia and ischemia. What condition is more dangerous to the brain? Explain your answer.
  3. Knowing what you do about the effects of ischemia on the brain, why would someone with ischemic stroke develop cerebral edema?
  4. What type of aphasia was Bonnie exhibiting when talking to her caregivers? Explain your answer.

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