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December 1, 2021

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  • Recognizing Stroke Mimics: A Guide for Primary Care

    Acute ischemic stroke is a common and significant cause of mortality and morbidity in the United States, ranking fifth among all causes of death. However, timely recognition and treatment is complicated by the fact that there are multiple conditions that mimic acute ischemic stroke. A comprehensive review suggested that approximately 74% of patients presenting with apparent acute stroke symptoms ultimately were diagnosed with stroke, thus indicating that 26% of patients had their symptoms produced by “stroke mimics.” Therefore, prompt diagnosis is complicated by a multitude of stroke mimic etiologies, including structural intracranial abnormalities, infection, syncope, vertigo, seizure, and migraine patterns, as well as underlying psychiatric causes and demyelinating diseases.