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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Neurologist (MD)
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 11946
Experience:  Neurosurgeon - Brain, spine, and peripheral nerve surgery
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Got a question.--- I went out to a diner the other morning

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Got a question.--- I went out to a diner the other morning for a cup of coffee and was sitting there with two friends and I loss conscieousness for about 7-10 seconds. When I came to, my friend was standing at the side of the table. After the incident, I had trouble with my memory and a little confusion that lasted about another 10-15 minutes. I went to the doctor and they checked the heart and all the cardiac tests came in normal. They did do a MRI and found a small 2mm nonspecific white matter on the upper front lobe. I think on the left side. On the morning of the incident, I had bacon and eggs, and a glass of juice together with a cup of coffee about 40 minutes before going to the diner. What could be the cause of the blackout. It never happened before. I am in my mid fifties.
Do you have high blood pressure, or taking blood pressure medications?

Did they have any diagnosis for you? Such as "vasovagal syncope"?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thanks- I am in the process of scheduling an appointment with a neurologist . My cardiologist did not mention vasovagal syncope. The day before my only episode of this, I was walking in 95 degree weather for several hours. So hydration could play a factor. Also, I am a candidate for an elected office, so stress can play a factor.

I did a holter monitor for 24 hours- results normal.

At dr office a week ago- 156/98

This morning. 136/92

Normally I am below 140 and below 90. But close to those numbers.

I run 3 miles three times a week.

A final note, looking at where the vagus nerve is on a picture. I do get some funny feeling in the back of head in that area. Kind of like a tightness , hard to describe, but like the nerves not connecting.

Thanks for your help, I think i have enough to ask some intelligent questions during my dr's visit. Thanks again.

I think one of the factors they will be looking at is your blood pressure -- and the fact that you may have been dehydrated, could have temporarily lowered your blood pressure, and then at that moment -- you may have had a "vasovagal" episode -- where your blood pressure may have dipped temporarily as a result of some stress or warmth or something -- and cause you to temporarily lose consciousness.

It is actually very common, and one of the reasons people "faint" at the sight of blood, for example.

The neurologist will be able to look for other causes, and if nothing is found, often times vasovagal syncope will be the cause.

The vagus nerve should not be the cause of irritation in the back of the head. Those areas are innervated by the upper cervical nerves, which are entirely different from the vagus nerve.

Best of luck to you.
Dr. Mark and other Neurology Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Can I follow-up with the above question. I am still trying to get an answer as to what caused me to blackout- I have been to the neurologist, who did blood work--(only deficiency was vitamin B-6) and alos found out I a have a mild case of Neuropathy. He said he didn't think the blackout was vasovagal syncope, but couldn't tell me what he thought was the cause-- He said sometimes these things happen once in a lifetime. Also discovered C-3-4 and C5-6 there was a mild desiccation and disc space narrowing. a disc protrusion and focus of annular fissure indenting the anterior cord. --He didn't think this could have anything to do with the blackout. Regarding the funny feeling in the back of my neck, maybe the reason was the disc protrusion. I am really looking for someone that can make an opinion as to what caused my blackout. The day before the blackout, I had very little water, a lot of stress, little sleep the night before and the evening before the blackout, I had several drinks. I need to get to another Neurologist for an opinion (I don't consider no opinion an opinion) . Anyway, let me know your thoughts. And you folks do Referrals. I am in the Ontario, Ca area.



If he couldn't find a specific reason for the blackout episode, it probably was simply a case of vasovagal syncope -- one of those one in a lifetime things (hopefully) for you.Either way, the important potential causes (brain, heart, blood vessel narrowing) should have been ruled out. It is not likely to do anything with your neck. I'm not sure they will be able to find a specific reason for you, other than at that moment in time, you had a drop in blood pressure for a second that caused you to faint.Unfortunately, we do not do referrals here at this service, since this is simply an online information service.