The Corona Radiata and Stroke

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The corona radiata is a bundle of nerve fibers located in the brain. Specifically, the nerves of the corona radiata carry information between the brain cells of the cerebral cortex and the brain cells in the brain stem.

The cerebral cortex is the area of the brain that is responsible for processing conscious information, while the brain stem is the connection between the spinal cord and the brain.

The brain stem and the cerebral cortex both are involved in sensation and motor function, and the corona radiata connects both motor and sensory nerve pathways between these structures.

Neurology diagnosis

Function of the Corona Radiata

The corona radiata is an important group of nerves because of its role in sending and receiving messages between regions in the brain. The nerve cells of the corona radiata are described as both afferent and efferent. This means that they carry messages to and from the body.

The term afferent refers to sensory input and other input sent from the body to the brain, while the term efferent refers to messages that are sent from the brain to the body to control motor function. The corona radiata is composed of both afferent and efferent fibers that connect the cerebral cortex and the brain stem.

Corona Radiata Damage and Stroke

The corona radiata may be injured by a stroke involving small branches of blood vessels. Strokes affecting the corona radiata are typically called subcortical strokes, lacunar strokes, small vessel strokes, or white matter strokes.

The reason that this region is described as white matter is that it is heavily 'myelinated,' which means that it is protected by a special kind of fatty tissue that insulates and protects nerve cells. It is also described as subcortical because it is located in the deep subcortical region of the brain.

A corona radiata stroke is described as a lacunar stroke or a small vessel stroke because the corona radiata receives blood supply from small branches of the arteries in the brain.​

People who have multiple small strokes in the corona radiata or elsewhere in the brain are often described as having cerebrovascular disease, which is a condition characterized by narrow, blood clot prone blood vessels in the brain and small strokes.

Strokes involving the corona radiata might be relatively small, and may not cause symptoms. Such strokes are often called silent strokes.

On the other hand, a stroke involving the corona radiata can produce nonspecific symptoms such as the inability to care for oneself, which is a stroke predictor, even when there are no major signs of a stroke on a brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or a brain computerized tomography (CT) scan.

Other Medical Problems

Besides a stroke, there are other causes of damage to the corona radiata. These include brain tumors, spread of cancer from the body (metastasis), head trauma, bleeding in the brain, and brain infections. Any of these conditions can impact the function of the corona radiata.

Significance of the Corona Radiata

Interestingly, studies have pointed to a new role of the corona radiata in predicting stroke outcome. Scientists evaluated the metabolism of various regions of the brain shortly after a stroke, using sophisticated imaging techniques.

After evaluating patients' stroke recovery, it turned out that the function of the corona radiata within the first 24 hours after a stroke was correlated with predicting the outcome after a stroke.

A Word From Verywell

Preventing a corona radiata stroke lies in stroke prevention. Stroke prevention is based on two major key components: long-term lifestyle habits and regular medical care.

Smoking is a major stroke risk factor, so discontinuing smoking is an important part of stroke prevention. Eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise are also components of stroke prevention.

Stress is another lifestyle issue that can contribute to stroke risk. Making efforts towards relaxation and decreasing stress has been shown to help prevent stroke.

In addition, addressing medical issues such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure can help reduce your risk of stroke. When it comes to stroke prevention, it is important to maintain regular check-ups with your healthcare provider, because several aspects of your routine medical check-up are designed to identify stroke risk.


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4 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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