Signs of a mini stroke

A mini stroke or a TIA (transient ischemic attack) is a brief period in which there is not enough blood flow to the brain. It is important that nearly twenty percent of people who experience a mini stroke or TIA will likely progress to a major stroke sometime within the next three months. The problem is that most people do not understand the signs of a mini stroke and therefore never visit their doctor when they suffer one.

The human brain requires blood to be constantly delivered to every neuron. This blood is filled with oxygen and nutrients that promote an overall healthy brain. Blood travels through the body across many blood vessels and reaches every single part of the brain. When these blood vessels become blocked either by plaque from high cholesterol or by blood clots, the brain has areas that is not receiving an adequate amount of blood. This results in a severe lack of nutrients and oxygen to certain areas of the brain and may cause these areas to stop functioning.

Understanding the symptoms of TIA or a mini stroke can help you to be better prepared should this happen to you. It is important that you realize that not everyone who suffers a mini stroke with show the same symptoms. Typically, the symptoms will begin very suddenly and may also vary depending on the specific part of the brain that is being affected. A mini stroke in an area of the brain that is not used for daily functioning may show no symptoms at all while one that is affecting brain regions that are heavily used may cause you to become completely debilitated.

A mini stroke typically affects the part of the brain that controls specific movements and feelings in areas such as the legs, arms and the face. They may also affect your speaking ability as well as the ability to comprehend what others around you are saying. Other signs of a mini stroke include numbness or weakness on a specific side of the face as well as on the leg and arm of that same side. Again, you may find it very difficult to comprehend what others around you are saying and find it nearly impossible to put together a sentence or relay to others that you are having difficulties. Nearly everyone who has experienced a mini stroke reported the inability to speak or at least the inability to speak clearly enough to be understood.

You may also notice a feeling of vertigo or dizziness and completely lose your vision in the side that is affected. Many also experience double or blurry vision when having a mini stroke. You should understand that there are minor differences between major and mini strokes. While the signs of a major stroke could be evident for years, the signs of a mini stroke typically disappear within 24 hours or less depending on the severity of the stroke. A major stroke could potentially be fatal or leave life-lasting physical difficulties and/or impairments. You should note that while the signs of a mini stroke will likely completely disappear within one day, they are still capable of causing permanent brain damage so if you feel that you have had a mini stroke it is imperative that you seek medical attention immediately.

The fact that most patients who suffer a mini stroke will go on to suffer a major stroke within approximately three months has given doctors much more urgency when dealing with TIA or mini strokes. Most mini stroke patients will be required to remain in the hospital for observation and testing for one to two days. Since early detection will allow for more successful prevention of a major stroke, many tests may be conducted to determine the cause of the mini stroke and medications are typically prescribed to attempt to thwart a major stroke before it happens.

Last updated on Jun 29th, 2010 and filed under Neurological Disorders. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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