Misdiagnosis of Stroke

The main concern with stroke is that it can be diagnosed too late. The symptoms are not that well-known in the ordinary population, and sometimes a person having a stroke can have unusual or milder forms of the symptoms. If there is any possibility that a person is having a stroke, you need to call for medical emergency help immediately.

Differential Diagnosis: There are some conditions that can mimic the symptoms of a stroke. Some are mild, whereas some are severe.

  • Transient Ischemic Attack (Mini-Stroke): This condition is a very serious one where a person appears to have the symptoms of a stroke, but then the symptoms disappear. This can occur repeatedly, with the episodes often called “mini-strokes”. This condition is extremely dangerous, as it is often the prelude to a full-blown stroke. Any person that appears to be having mini-stroke episodes needs to be dealt with by emergency medical professional staff immediately. Read more about Transient Ischemic Attacks.
  • Concussion. Has any type of brain injury or fall resulted in concussion?
  • Brain Injury (Falls). If any type of brain injury has occurred, or perhaps the patient has fallen.
  • Migraine: Some of the symptoms of a migraine can appear to be stroke-like. Obviously there can be a headache with a migraine. But other symptoms of migraine can include one-sided symptoms such as tingling fingers, hands, and so on. Tingling on one side of the face, cheeks, and tongue can occur in a migraine. Visual symptoms can also occur with a migraine. These symptoms can all appear to be stroke-like. On the other hand, it could actually be a stroke; don’t take chances, seek immediate professional emergency help.
  • Amigrainous Migraine: This condition means literally “migraine without the migraine”. That it means is a migraine-like syndrome where the person can have no headache, but various other symptoms of migraine. For example, a person could have one-sided tingling of the arms, face, tongue, mouth, blurred vision (e.g. zig-zag lines), and so on, but without the headache. These can mimic a stroke, but this condition itself is mostly harmless; read more about Amigrainous Migraine.

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Note: This site is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. See your doctor or other qualified medical professional for all your medical needs.