Tiny strokes were visible in the patient's brain image scans, but diagnosing their cause was complex.
Soon after returning home from a stay in Africa, a 31-year-old female patient experienced disabling headaches, distorted vision, and sensations of pins and needles on a finger and a foot. A brain MRI showed what appeared to be several tiny strokes.
The cause was not clear. Ultimately, the patient was referred to the UW Medicine Stroke Center at Harborview, where Dr. Sara Schepp, a neurology fellow, diagnosed the condition and began treatment that has so far ameliorated symptoms.