Bret Michaels Update: Still in ICU with Minor Medical Complication

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Musician/Reality Star Bret Michaels remains in the ICU at an undisclosed hospital after suffering a subarachnoid hemorrhage last week and doctors say that he is responding well to tests and treatments and they are hopeful for a full recovery. However, he has suffered a “minor setback”, a condition called hyponatremia which could lead to seizures.

Michaels, 47, remains in critical, but stable, condition as doctors try to find the source of the bleeding in his brain. There was recent speculation that the original injury could possibly have occurred last June when a prop hit the singer in the head at the Tony Awards, but this has not been confirmed.

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Most recent medical tests show that Michaels now has a condition called hyponatremia, a metabolic condition in which there is not enough sodium in the body fluids outside the cells. When sodium levels drop outside the cells, water moves into the cell which can lead to swelling. Swelling of the cells in the brain causes most of the symptoms of hyponatremia.

Common symptoms include abnormal mental status (confusion, decreased consciousness), convulsions, headache, irritability, muscle spasms, and nausea and vomiting.

There are many possible causes for hyponatremia, the most likely in Michaels case being syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone (SIADH), a condition commonly found in patients hospitalized for a head or central nervous system injury. It involves the excessive release of antidiuretic hormone (ADH or vasopressin) from the hypothalamus or pituitary gland.

Representatives for the singer say that “he will remain monitored closely by his medical team” and that doctors are “hopeful that Bret will gradually improve as the blood surrounding the brain dissolves and is reabsorbed into his system, which can be a very painful recovery and take several weeks to months.”

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