Pontine Stroke Symptoms

A pontine stroke is essentially a stroke within the brainstem due to a hemorrhage, or bleeding of the blood vessels in this portion of the brain. This type of stroke is linked more to hypertension, or high blood pressure, than to anything else. However, simply being hypertensive doesn't mean you'll necessarily have a pontine stroke. It's just one of the risk factors. As with any condition, there are a number of symptoms of a pontine stroke that can help indicate whether a person is experiencing one.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.


Most strokes that are located in the brainstem will commonly prompt the symptom of vertigo. A pontine stroke would be no different. This symptom is actually more of a warning sign as this spinning sensation will often hit a person well before a stroke occurs. Vertigo itself is characterized by a feeling that the room is spinning or tilting in a direction that it actually isn't, and will often cause a person to feel dizzy, lightheaded, nauseous or unsteady. But, the sensation of vertigo isn't exclusive to a stroke within the brainstem. Just because you experience vertigo doesn't mean you will suffer a stroke. Simply consult a doctor to better understand your personal condition.


Another common symptom of a pontine stroke would be a moderate to severe headache. This symptom will usually hit a person full on, and will be fairly hard to shake. If you've ever had a headache before, it will be very similar to that sensation.


Many people who suffer from pontine stroke will also begin to experience a certain amount of weakness. This particular symptom will typically be isolated to either the right or the left side of the body, and the amount of weakness will often be based on the severity and location of the hemorrhage. Some people will only experience a moderate weakness to one side of their body while others will suffer from a more pronounced weakness. It will often be accompanied by a numbness or tingling sensation.

Visual Disturbance

A number of people suffering from a stroke within the brainstem will also undergo some sort of visual disturbance. It will often be a sensation of double vision, or one object being perceived as two, within the person's lateral gaze. While this condition will usually strike the affected side, a person will most likely distinguish it as a state within both eyes.

Slurred Speech

Some people will also face a certain amount of slurred speech. It may seem almost as if the person is drunk and having a hard time forming the words. Usually, this symptom, when present, will worsen as time progresses and be accompanied by other symptoms (those already mentioned).