Changed diagnosis?

Hi. I was told in July is had an ischemic stroke. A few days later, MRI showed clear. Clinical diagnosis of stroke was made as I presented with classic symptoms. They put on aspirin, told not to drive ( I’m still not) etc.

 4 months now & I finally saw a neurologist who told me “No stroke, just one of those things & I’ll improve over time !” Just to clarify, I’m still week on left side, slow, processing is often a Challenge...but apparently there’s nothing wrong with me.  I have an appointment with the stroke consultant who made the diagnosis at the end of the month. Can an MRI miss it?  Thoughts on this would be welcome. Thanks. 

Welcome to our forum Lynne.

What a strange diagnosis. I think it is possible to "miss" something on an MRi scan. They are looking for an infarct, which in English is a bit of dead brain. Perhaps you could travel to another scanner. The infarct shows up OK but finding it is the hard bit. 

I reckon I have suffered less than most with a full stroke. But the idea that I might or might not have had stroke damage is unthinkable. No two strokes are the same. Many of the symptoms are shared by many of us. Paralysis, hearing problems, loss of speech, fatigue, for starters. All the cognitive stuff is dramatic.

Actually I do hope that you havent got an infarct, as then you can then make a full recovery and a return to how you used to be. An infarct changes me for ever. No way can I recover to pre stroke state.So if you have missed out on a full stroke then I would be delighted for you.

The dead bit of brain does not grow back again, no more than an amputated leg doesnt grow back again.

Maybe you could read through the stroke associatoin leaflets. They are brief, concise and to the point. Most GPs stock them, the stroke unit at your hospital will have them or you could read the electronic version on this site.

Do let us know how you get on. Especially the MRi scan.

Good luck




Hi Lynne

I'm sorry to hear about this, and the concerns it has caused.

When you were orginally told you had an ischaemic stroke, did you have a scan then?

It may have been you actually had a Transient Ischaemic Attack, which is also known as a mini-stroke and we know that with TIAs, any symptoms will disappear after 24 hours and there will be no damage shown on a scan. If you have been experiencing any ongoing effects, such as weakness, I'd encourage you to see your doctor to help clarify your diagnosis. I have included our leaflet on TIAs which you may find helpful. 

Transient ischaemic attack

Please note, I am not saying you have had a TIA, but it may have been a possibility. Do speak to your GP for further support.

Take care


Thanks for responding. The consultant at the time of being admitted said it was a Stroke, not a TIA. As i understand it, with a tia the symptoms clear within 24 hours but my symptoms , although improving, have definitely not gone away completely. It happened on a Tuesday , MRI on the Friday. Was discharged as Clinical Ischemic Stroke & treated as such. Hard to get my head round as I’m in my early 40s, run & play sports, don’t smoke, not overweight. I know I am very fortunate in having relatively mild symptoms compared to others.....but my life & my families has been turned upside down & im not even close to resuming work , driving, & engaging in sports again. I’m in my early 40s. It’s been hard to accept that I’ve had a stroke but for the neurologist to say  it’s not a stroke has left me very confused about how to move forward. He even asked if I suffered from anxiety???? Was not a good appointment! 

Thank Colin for your reply. As you rightly say, the best news is no damage to my brain ...but having got my head around accepting their initial diagnosis , only for another specialist to give a different opinion  is just so confusing. I am seeing my strike consuktabt at the end of the month so it will be interés to see if he says his diagnosis was wrong in the first place. The worst thing...the neurologist said he sees lots of people like me with symptoms but no diagnosis.....I’m no genius but surely there has to be a cause? In my case the only test result of significance was a higher blood reading of my Ddimer which I think relates to blood clot??? They are going to go another mri to include the back of my neck, will let you know. ?

Thats good, they will do further MRi. When your consultant says lots of people have symptoms and no diagnosis then I would be incined to wonder if their scannre is up to it. Or the operatives. Its not esy trying to find a small dead bit in our substantial heads. Colchester had the most ancient scanner ever. Boy was it noisy. Half an hour in it for me. But they found the infarct. I think they knew whereabouts to look. Well since then the hospital has acquired a new space age scanner. So its good for MRi stuff.

I also had specific hand held scane on gthe neck, apparently thngs can hide in the neck. I was all clear.

Sorry I dont know of the Ddimer. 

Stroke is the cinderella illness. Hopeless funding. The medical staff can only do their best. Why it is so underfunded I dont know. I think things are changing.

You need a more certain diagnosis, even if its "we dont really know". I hope you are keeping copies of your diagnosis. Especially the latest one. You are likely to find it very helpful over the coming months. 

Keep on keeping on. All will be resolved eventually.