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About a week ago, my 17 year old brother was lifting weights in his P.E. class. All of a sudden, he had a sharp shooting pain in the top of his head. His vision also went blurry. He has had a headache since then. He has high blood pressure, and went to see a cardiologist. The cardiologist said that he didn't know what happened. Can you please help me out? Im terrified he could have a tumor or something in his brain.


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replied March 22nd, 2010
Headache and Migraines Answer A10774


Given the data you provided (severe shooting pain in the top of the head, blurring vision, history of high blood pressure), your brother might have suffered from an ischemic attack affecting the brain. It might have been useful if the medications were reported, too.

The signs you reported do not indicate a full scale stroke. However, your brother might have experienced a condition known as transitory ischemic attacks. They are characterized with severe headache. Blurring vision and a buzz in the ears might be experienced, too. The person might feel nausea and start vomiting. The cause for this is a temporary narrowing of the blood vessels that supply the brain with blood; or the needs for blood are temporarily increased more than the supply capacity (for example, when the body is under physical stress-exercising).

You might want to take your brother to a neurologist for a physical examination. Doppler sonography might be recommended to detect changes in the blood flow in the suspected area. Laboratory tests checking the lipid status might also be needed. The high blood pressure must be regulated properly because it might be a trigger factor. In the end, it might be very important to consult the doctor about whether and how much your brother can exercise at all.


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