Stroke Mimics: Conditions that Resemble Stroke

by | Jul 8, 2024

Discover our specialized stroke clinic in Singapore, Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic with Dr. Manish Taneja, our stroke specialist, who is dedicated to diagnosing and treating stroke while differentiating conditions that resemble stroke symptoms, including seizures, migraines, hypoglycemia, and multiple sclerosis. Trust in our world-class stroke clinic to provide accurate diagnosis and personalized care. 

elderly measuring blood pressure

Introduction to Stroke Mimics

Strokes, which occur when blood flow to the brain is interrupted, can have serious, long-term health implications. Following a stroke, many people can deal with physical and cognitive deficits. Recognizing and dealing with a stroke quickly is key to improving outcomes and ensuring that you are as healthy as possible. However, many conditions have the potential to mimic stroke and failure to take them into account can delay treatment and make it more difficult for patients to get the help they need.

What are Stroke Mimics?

Stroke mimics are conditions that present with symptoms similar to stroke, but have different underlying causes. These conditions can complicate the diagnosis and treatment of suspected stroke cases.

The Importance of Differentiation

Medical professionals must be able to differentiate between strokes and other conditions that have similar symptoms so that patients can provide the right treatment. The treatment for stroke may not be appropriate for some other conditions. Likewise, a patient who is dealing with a stroke may not get needed benefits from the treatments that are intended for that specific condition.


Common Conditions That Mimic Stroke

There are a number of potential health conditions that can appear similar to a stroke, but that are not the same.

  1. Migraine with Aura: Migraines can cause temporary visual disturbances and sensory changes that may be very similar to a stroke.
  2. Seizures: A seizure is a sudden, uncontrolled electrical disturbance in the brain, causing changes in behavior, movements, feelings, or levels of consciousness. It can mimic a stroke because both conditions can result in sudden confusion, loss of consciousness, and abnormal movements.
  3. Hypoglycemia: Low blood sugar levels can lead to confusion, weakness, and slurred speech, all of which can seem very similar to stroke symptoms.
  4. Bell’s Palsy: The facial weakness or drooping caused by facial nerve paralysis, also known as Bell’s palsy, can look very similar to the symptoms caused by a stroke.
  5. Brain Tumors: Tumors can cause neurological symptoms that include headaches, seizures, and focal deficits, all of which can look similar to a person having a stroke.
  6. Functional Neurological Disorders: Psychological factors can often manifest as physical symptoms. In some cases, they may look like a stroke, including one-sided weakness, facial paralysis, visual disturbances, or changes in sensory experience.
  7. Multiple Sclerosis: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic autoimmune disease that attacks the central nervous system, leading to symptoms like muscle weakness, vision problems, and impaired coordination. It can mimic a stroke because both conditions can cause sudden onset of numbness, weakness, and difficulty with speech or vision.
  8. Peripheral Vertigo: Vertigo can cause severe dizziness and balance problems can mimic a stroke.

Patients who regularly suffer symptoms of specific conditions, including migraines, may learn to identify their symptoms and address them appropriately. However, new or changing symptoms should always be evaluated by a medical care provider.


How Stroke Mimics are Diagnosed

Many factors can go into diagnosing stroke mimics and ensuring that patients receive the right treatment.


Diagnostic Tools

There are many diagnostic methods used to identify potential problems and ensure that patients get the right care, including:

  • Imaging tests like CT or MRI scans
  • Blood tests
  • Neurological examinations

Doctors may want patients to go through a full workup to make sure that they have correctly diagnosed the patient’s condition.


The Role of Healthcare Providers

Healthcare providers will help evaluate test results and symptoms to arrive at the correct diagnosis for each patient. That will include taking a medical history, going through the clinical assessment process, and taking patients through specialized consultations when necessary.


Challenges in Diagnosis Complexity

Healthcare providers can face a number of potential challenges when differentiating stroke from its mimics. Most notably, overlapping symptoms between those conditions can make it very difficult for doctors to properly diagnose patients’ condition.


The Impact on Treatment

Misdiagnosis of stroke mimics can delay appropriate treatment and management of the underlying condition. Patients can end up dealing with ongoing symptoms or even causing permanent damage.


The Importance of Finding the Right Stroke Specialist in Singapore

When you fear that you may be dealing with stroke symptoms, or you aren’t sure that you have the right diagnosis for your needs, having the right specialist can make all the difference. Dr. Manish Taneja at Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic is an experienced stroke specialist in Singapore that can help provide an accurate, trustworthy diagnosis for your health condition.

Learn how to spot a stroke fast such as remembering the acronym BE FAST and make sure you’re prepared to recognize the warning signs of stroke and get to a stroke specialist as soon as possible.

  • Balance changes
  • Eye changes/changes in vision
  • Facial drooping or numbness
  • Arm weakness
  • Speech changes
  • Time to call 911

Stroke is a medical emergency and stroke symptoms must be addressed promptly in order to improve patient outcomes and maximize time for intervention. Any time you have sudden onset neurological symptoms, immediate medical care is essential. Visit Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic, a specialized stroke clinic in Singapore, to learn more about stroke and its mimics.

The Difference Between a Stroke and a Heart Attack

Understand the key differences between a stroke and a heart attack, from their distinct symptoms to underlying causes.

Consult a Stroke Specialist in Singapore

Dr. Manish Taneja, is an expert in endovascular and image guided neurointerventional procedures of brain and spine. He has special interest in treatment of brain aneurysms, stroke and vascular malformations. Come in for a further evaluation and arrange an appointment today with our stroke specialist.


Dr. Manish Taneja performing surgery

Stroke Resources

Stroke In Younger Adults: What You Need to Know

You are never too young to have a stroke. As such, it is important to know what to look out for and how your lifestyle increases your risk of having a stroke.

happy senior woman eating healthy green apple

We’ve Got You Covered for Specialized Stroke Screening, Prevention, and Management

Imagine heart attacks where the blood flow to your heart is blocked. Similarly, a stroke occurs when the blood flow to your brain is interrupted becoming a “brain attack”. When blood supply does not reach a certain part, brain cells begin to die. Different types of stroke include ischemic strokes (blockage of blood vessel due to blood clot) or a mini stroke, a TIA (transient ischemic attack), with no permanent damage yet serious. Stroke also occurs when a blood vessel in the brain pops causing bleeding in the brain.

Certain areas of the brain can be affected by stroke and some symptoms of a stroke including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and high blood sugar levels increase the risk of stroke whereas an active lifestyle or controlling high cholesterol reduces the risk. How well do you know stroke? Find tips to prevent and manage stroke, the differences in stroke screening tests, and the newer technology and treatments available. Come in for an easy consultation and further evaluation with our stroke specialist in Singapore at the Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic. 

Supreme Vascular and Interventional Stroke Programs

Brain Aneurysm Resources

Discover brain aneurysm resources that go beyond the basics designed for patients. Understand the meaning of  a brain aneurysm condition, the causes, symptoms, signs, and more. Connect with your brain health.

Put Brain Aneurysm on Your Health Radar

Did you experience the worst headache of your life? Could it be a brain aneurysm that ruptures, which means bleeding in the brain? Thoughts could be racing through your mind. Then what is the difference between unruptured (a weak or thin spot on an artery in the brain that balloons) or ruptured brain aneurysm? If you’re wondering, then the Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic is here to help. It’s important to look out for the tell-tale brain aneurysm symptoms, signs, causes, and risk factors.

Dr. Manish Taneja has been performing brain aneurysm treatments since 1995 from surgical clipping to latest minimally invasive procedures. Each patient is unique as is the size and location of the aneurysm. Your brain has different conditions to treat the aneurysm and artery vessel walls of a blood vessel in the brain. This calls for personalised brain aneurysm treatment depending on your symptoms, family, history, medication, and more. A simple CT scan could be just what the doctor ordered and the first step in early detection and prevention of a brain aneurysm. Come in for an easy consultation with our brain aneurysm specialist in Singapore to be on your health radar.

Other Health Conditions

The Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic is your “go-to” facility for various neurological conditions and treatments. To arrange an appointment with Dr. Manish Taneja, our neurointervention specialist, contact us. You can also call us at (+65) 6904 8084 for a consultation.