Q. How can damage to neurotransmitters be diagnosed after a stroke?

Answered by
Dr. Sudheer Ambekar
and medically reviewed by Dr. Divya Banu M
Published on Mar 19, 2019

Hello doctor,

My question is hypothetical. If one has suffered brain edema as a result of a stroke, is there any way to determine whether or not the transmitters or neurotransmitters in the brain have sustained any type of damage? Is there any test available that can ascertain this information?

Dr. Sudheer Ambekar

Neuro Surgery Neurology


Welcome to icliniq.com.

If someone has brain edema secondary to brain injury, there is definitely a disturbance in the neurotransmitters in the brain. The only way to identify this is by a procedure called microdialysis wherein a probe is inserted into the area of the brain under consideration and the biochemical parameters analyzed.

Hello doctor,

Thank you for replying. Well, I am guessing that would be an outpatient procedure. I was hoping that there was a diagnostic test available of some sort, such as a brain PET scan, etc. Also, in such a hypothetical situation, is there any way to repair the neurotransmitters? I am thinking, that if they were damaged due to edema, then they would not be able to be repaired because the damage is physical. Is this correct? If so, are there any options available at all?

Dr. Sudheer Ambekar

Neuro Surgery Neurology


Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Microdialysis is not an outpatient procedure. It involves inserting a catheter in the area of the brain under study and introducing a solution wash and analyzing the returning fluid for various parameters such as lactate. At present, there is only one scan called the Trodat scan which assesses dopamine deficiency in the brain in patients suspected of having Parkinson's disease. But, there is no such test for detecting brain injury due to edema. There is no test that can determine whether or not the neurotransmitters have sustained damage.

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