Basal Ganglia Stroke: Prognosis & Recovery

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  • 0:04 Basal Ganglia Stroke
  • 0:57 Prognosis
  • 2:20 Recovery
  • 3:55 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Adrianne Baron

Adrianne has a master's degree in cancer biology and has taught high school and college biology.

This lesson offers a brief glimpse into basal ganglia strokes. We will look at the prognosis and recovery from this type of stroke and the factors that determine both.

Basal Ganglia Stroke

Things were going really well in Robin's life. She'd just retired from working and was looking forward to having more time to enjoy the things she loves. Within a week of retiring Robin started feeling like something was just completely wrong with her body. It got bad one day and her friend, Ashley, called for an ambulance to take Robin to the hospital.

After some exams and tests were run, it was determined that Robin had suffered a basal ganglia stroke. This is a loss of oxygenated blood supply to the basal ganglia of the brain, resulting in brain tissue death and damage. The loss of blood supply was due to a blood clot blocking the artery that takes oxygenated blood to part of the basal ganglia. The damage to this part of the brain caused several undesirable symptoms in Robin's body. The main thing that Robin and Ashley want to know is whether or not Robin will ever get back to normal and the amount of time it will take.


There isn't a set prognosis for a basal ganglia stroke. How well Robin does or doesn't recover is based on different factors. Fortunately, Robin started out with a good jump start since Ashley got her to medical care early on during the stroke. The earlier medical attention is given, the more likely a full or close to full recovery will happen.

Robin is expected to still live a very long life since her stroke wasn't as severe as it could have been. Some basal ganglia strokes are so severe that people die immediately, or they have permanent disability and their lives aren't as long as they normally would have been due to complications.

Since Robin just turned 70, she is on the cusp of the age where recovery becomes harder. The younger a person is when they experience a basal ganglia stroke, the better the prognosis. Being elderly makes it harder; our bodies just do not recover that well as we age.

The other factor is Robin's health. Robin is otherwise healthy and takes very good care of herself. She watches what she eats and exercises regularly. Being healthy is an important factor in how well the body will be able to adjust after a stroke. Eating right and exercising also decrease the likelihood of another stroke, which helps improve the prognosis.

In reality, the prognosis for Robin and any other stroke sufferer depends largely upon herself and the medical professionals who assist in her recovery.


Recovery is going to require quite a bit of effort on Robin's part. She will need to be diligent with taking the anticoagulants, also called blood thinners, that have now been prescribed in order to keep her blood from clotting.

Robin is also going to have to do physical and speech therapy. The physical therapy will help to strengthen her muscles and improve her walking, which has been a little off since her stroke. The speech therapy will help her to fully enunciate her words. Robin has been slurring and having other difficulties with speaking since the stroke.

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