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Thursday, December 14th 2006

Intercerebral Hemorrhage Decides To Play Politics

Yesterday, South Dakotan senior Senator Tim Johnson was taken to George Washington with symptoms of a stroke and underwent what appears to be a craniotomy to evacuate a hematoma. Turns out the Senator bled from an AVM.

Like aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations are congenital problems in the construction of the circulation in your head. Often they consist of arteries connecting directly to veins, without going through the requisite capillary beds.

The torturous AVMs grow in size over time and have the potential to spontaneously bleed. This “hemorrhagic stroke” basically caries the same symptoms as an occlusion based stroke. Two odd points in Senator Johnson’s case – there was no reported headache, and the bleed was reported as intercerebral. Well, the second one isn’t really an “odd” point, certainly AVM’s can occur deep within the brain, but from my limited knowledge they often occur near the surface of the cerebrum causing a subarachnoid hemorrhage.

Ignore The Little “Bulges,” This Is A Cartoon Of Aneurysms…
The Illustration Shows Where Different Intercranial Bleeds Collect

It is important you keep Senator Johnson and his family in your prayers. His recovery, which I choose to take for granted, will be a long one.

On other news, God bless Wonkette (although I put together the picture), for pointing out that the, currently in the spotlight, South Dakota Secretary of State is actually Kip from Napoleon Dynamite.

Can We Imagine His Election Posters/Slogan?

The Secretary of State is getting media attention for how he’ll be involved in advising the Republican South Dakota Governor in Senator Johnson’s replacement, should the Senator resign (or more controversly, be incapacitated).