Is it possible to feel irritation where I had a stroke?

1 answer | Last updated: Oct 20, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

9 months after an ischemic stroke, is it possible to continuously "feel" irritation in the head exactly where the stroke occurred?

Expert Answers

James Castle, M.D. is a neurologist at NorthShore University HealthSystem (affiliated with The University of Chicago) and an expert on strokes.

Feeling irritation at the stroke site is not common, but also not unheard of. I have had several patients complain of new onset of headache or head pain in the region of their stroke.

In this situation, I think the first thing to do is repeat an image of the brain. MRI scanning of the brain and the arteries of the head is a very safe and very thorough method. This would give you peace of mind that there is nothing dangerous underpinning the irritation. If that scan comes back benign, I would consider starting on a medication for your symptoms. Depending on how severe the irritation is, you may want something to "take the edge off". Less expensive medications such as gabapentin or amitriptyline are often very effective. More expensive medications such as pregabalin or duloxetine can also be quite beneficial if the less expensive medications are not working. I have had quite a bit of success with those in the past.

Good luck!