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Thread: Question about after-effects of a blood patch

  1. #1
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    Question about after-effects of a blood patch

    I am not sure is this is very belonging here, but I have a quick question that maybe someone could supply me the answer with if it isn't a bother. I am personally an aerospace engineering major, so please excuse my lack of medical knowledge.
    Earlier this year I was tested for meningitis via a lumbar-pucture test. It ended up I did not have the illness, but just some sort of flu. Anyway, for about a week and a half after I was having horrible headaches whenever I was not laying down. I would try and do my various assignments, and I just could not think at all. So I went back in for a blood patch.
    Immediately my pain went away. But more happened, about four hours after the procedure I was up late doing my make-up work that I missed for being out for a week. Now I do not mean to brag, but I am rather high in my class, and it still takes me many hours just to do one night's worth of assignments and studying. However, the night I got back, within two hours time I finished all of my make up work, and all of the work whose deadline hadn't even come yet. I was flying through these air flow control problems like they were nothing! Honestly I finished a good twenty pages of calculus and physics problem in such a short time. I just now bring it up, because as I went back recently to study the material that was covered when I was sick, I struggled very much to relearn it, or to redo my old homework problems for review.
    A relative of mine had an epidural blood patch once too, and said that she also experienced a sort of "heightened intellectual state". The mental clarity that I experienced for about two days after the procedure was amazing. Does anyone know why this started? Or even better, why did it go away?

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  3. #2

    Heightened Intellectual State

    I am not aware of any formal published report that validates this state. So, possibly, it might be related to simple non-medical factors. A brief vacation from your mathematical chores enabled you to have fresh insight into those equations. Experiencing sudden relief after having a PDPH for about a week induced a state of elation! Pure speculation on my part.

    Paul G. Loubser, MD
    National Cardiac Anesthesia Consultants, PA

  4. #3
    I agree with Paul's "speculation". It takes a lot of energy to have any debilitating headache, much less PDPH, which is agonizing. The dural puncture was done for some medical condition that may have taken its toll on your mental powers for quite some time, altering your "baseline". Now you have the full capacity that may have been missing for awhile. That's great! Hope it lasts for you! :-) [My opinion only, as I tried looking up any research there might be on the subject, couldn't find anything.]
    Jan Grossberg, RN, BSN
    Editorial Team

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    Thanks to both of you for your responses, I myself have also been unable to find anything on this. Your speculations do make a great deal of sense though, although I must admit that I think those temporary beneficial symptoms I had are gone. Dont think the few days of mental clarity were worth it though, that headache really hurt a lot =)

  6. #5
    I love mental clarity. It happened to me once, too. :-) Hope it hits you again soon!
    Jan Grossberg, RN, BSN
    Editorial Team

  7. #6
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    Cool heightened intellectual state

    what actually causes the headache?

    Anyway because a blood patch on the spinal cord prevents leakage of cerebrospinal fluid, it may be so that brain function isenhanced, but my assumption would be that it would return the patient to normal mental functioning

    you're probably just a really smart guy, try doing the same material again and tell us how long the calculus takes you

    it would be great if it works in that way [has that effect], though it would only work [i think] if the skin is open

    *where does the CSF leak into?

  8. #7
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    mental clarity, eas it after blood patch?

    Quote Originally Posted by jgrossberg View Post
    I love mental clarity. It happened to me once, too. :-) Hope it hits you again soon!
    do you mean after this operation? [was it after blood patch op.?]

  9. #8
    No, this was just a tongue-in-cheek statement about my mental clarity being less frequent than I would like...Luckily, I have not had to have any procedures involving dural puncture. I cared for a patient who had, and who developed the headache, but did not have the blood patch done. Along with having to remain flat in bed for 3 days, he literally was given coffee, as much as he wanted, and this helped. Starbuck's to the rescue. IT is my understanding the PDPH headache results from a decrease in spinal fluid amount, which causes a decrease in spinal column fluid pressure compared to the intracranial pressure. This differential actually allows the base of the brain to sag into the foramen (opening) at the base of the skull. This causes the intense pain of the headache, and most often resolves as the body slowly produces additional spinal fluid to equalize the pressure in the spinal column with the pressure up in the cranium. Once in a long while, the patient has the headache for months, even years, and rarely, it becomes permanent.
    Jan Grossberg, RN, BSN
    Editorial Team

  10. #9
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    thanks, I thought it may be due to the spinal fluid [CSF] containing electrolytes [Cl- is inhibitory, thought this played a major role]
    has there been any cases of a change in brain function after cerebral [CSF] leakage e.g. epilepsy started afterwards or has there been instances where dural puncture has cleared out the CSF partially and epilepsy has stopped occurring

    I'm interested in neurological problems, what causes them + remedies
    especially headaches, epilepsy etc. Didn't think a headache would ever be caused [indirectly] by mechanical stress as above, guess I was wrong

  11. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by benjamin-MPharm View Post
    Didn't think a headache would ever be caused [indirectly] by mechanical stress as above, guess I was wrong
    Ask anyone who's back/neck/shoulders/lower-lumbar-region has been out and had to see a chiropractor for it..

    Speaking from personal experience here -- my wife at one point had been in a car accident (drunk driver), and when her back/neck would go out, the resulting migraine was so severe that the slightest movement of the bed made her sick.
    Douglas Phillips

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