Pediatric Stroke Causes and Recovery

Mother holding an infant

What causes ischemic stroke in children?

  • Blood clots form in the heart and travel to the brain. This can be caused by congenital heart problems such as abnormal valves or infections. In these cases, children may need surgery or antibiotics.
  • About 10 percent of children with sickle cell disease suffer a stroke. In sickle cell disease, the blood cell can’t carry oxygen to the brain. Blood vessels leading to the brain may have narrowed or closed.
  • Ischemic strokes can also be caused by trauma that injures large arteries and causes a loss of blood flow. For instance, a large artery might be damaged when a child has a neck injury.

What causes hemorrhagic stroke in children?

  • When a blood vessel in the brain ruptures, blood can't reach its destination. As a result, the brain is deprived of oxygen, which may lead to permanent brain injury.

Will my child get better?

Each child recovers differently from stroke. Prompt medical treatment and rehabilitation therapy can maximize recovery. In general, younger people recover more abilities than older people.

What are the effects of stroke?

The effects of stroke in a child are generally the same as in an adult. The most common effects are:

  • Hemiparesis (weakness on one side of the body), or hemiplegia (paralysis on one side of the body).
  • One-sided neglect (unilateral neglect), which causes the stroke survivor to ignore or forget their weaker side.
  • Aphasia (difficulty with speech and language), or dysphagia (trouble swallowing).

Join the Support Network

Get support. Or offer it. Make a connection. For life.