A stroke affecting the brain stem is potentially life threatening since this area of the brain controls functions such as breathing and instructing the heart to beat. Brain stem stroke may also cause double vision, nausea and loss of coordination. The brain stem also controls less essential abilities such as articulate speech.
Review Date 4/25/2022
Updated by: Joseph V. Campellone, MD, Department of Neurology, Cooper University Hospital, Camden, NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.