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Can lupus mimic a stroke?

I have just come out of hospital after 9 days. I had a severe left sided headache, chest pain, whole body tingling and numbness and lost my speech and have difficulty walking. Had scans including MRI but no stroke or bleed was diagnosed. My heart seemed to get palpitations on occasions too. Luckily I could understand what people said and conversed by writing! My speech is still no better. I have to concentrate so hard on forming the shape of the word and what the sound of the syllable should be and it makes my head hurt more. I managed to say 53 basic words that the speech therapist gave me on a sheet like ma, may, my, say etc. Then the next day the right side of my mouth and cheek went numb and I couldn't say any words again!!! I have now managed to say a few more words, the longest being hello!! The neurologist says it is a malfunction in my brain and it will improve with rest. I don't think they really know, and i'm sure one of the doctors thought I was putting it on!! But I haven't said a sentence for 10 days now! I even had my daughter phoning me in tears from university but I couldn't say anything to her - it was awful!! I have got to see a neuropsychologist. One Doctor said I have some symptoms but not others that I should have, so they can't diagnose whats wrong!! Another doctor thought it might be lupus related.

Has anyone ever had any experience like this? I have read lupus can mimic other illnesses and wondered if that might have happened to me!

3 Replies

Hi, I often go through periods where I struggle with my speec, I get the numbness in my face and mobility problems where my left leg drags (I'm 47) I also go through periods of severe short term memory loss. It was the memory loss issues that I eventually went to the doctor with who referred me to the neurologist. He sent me for brain scans which showed I am have mini strkes regularly! I have also seen the neuropsychologist who ran tests confirming my short term memory loss. I've also seen a neurophysiologist who carried out nerve and muscle tests. These showed I have nerve damage on my right side arms legs etc but strangely its my left side that's I have the weakness on. I k know it sounds quite scary and a lot going on but it is only rarely that lupus damages the brain like this. I don't know if its the lupus 'fog brain' but I don't even think of the seriousness of it and just take one day at a time. I still do everything I'm just wobblier and need more time. Things do get better and easier so fingers crossed yours will just be a minor blip in our lupus life health x x


Hi I have had some experiences like this but mine have passed quickly. I've had the confusion then full loss of speech clear MRI was told from A&E and Rheumy that I've had TIAs but neuro says not. I'm not really sure what advice to give as my episodes have passed within a couple of hours. I guess that you have to follow the drs advice but also keep pushing them for answers. I know that it must feel scary but keep strong, follow the advice and push them. Please keep us posted of how things go and I hope that you start to see some improvement soon.


I have just bee released from hozi with a suspected TIA, I had brain scans atc and the specialsit said no I havent.

I had numbness in my left side, loss of strength and mixed up my speech.

The stroke clinic have put it down to some sort of Migraine so been refered back to Neuro now to sort.

All conncected to the Lupus though they believe.


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