Brain is the most important organ of our body. Even slightest dysfunction of any nerve in the brain can cause severe problems and disabilities. We normally know of brain stroke and few conditions related to brain but there are some conditions which might not be life-threatening but can surely cause a great trouble to your health. When brain experiences that blood is not flowing in the normal manner or having some blockage, then the condition of transient ischemic attack occurs. It can also be called a mini brain stroke or transient ischemic attack as it happens on a smaller scale and does not have permanent affect on the brain. However some conditions might trigger transient ischemic attack to occur. By knowing symptoms and factors affecting the attack, a person can prevent this disorder from happening.
What Is Brain Ministroke?
Transient ischemic attack is commonly termed as a ministroke in the brain. Dr. Akhtar Qureshi, Surgical Neurologist (Neurodevelopment Disorder Specialist) from Apollo Hospital, Bangalore explains transient ischemic attack disorder. He says that this disorder occurs in the brain when the blood flow gets blocked temporarily in veins of the brain. It can cause a stroke that is on a lower level than a brain stroke but can be very painful. Ministroke does not create permanent damage to the brain but can cause certain disabilities of mental health disorders if the ministroke lasts long. People above 50 years of age are more vulnerable of getting this disorder because body functions slow down with time. Unfortunately people who go through transient ischemic disorder increase their risk of getting brain stroke.
Symptoms for Transient Ischemic Attacks
These attacks may only last for a few minutes but those minutes can be very severe. Symptoms of this disorder can last up to 24 hours or little less. If you leave these signs or symptoms unnoticed for long then it can increase the risk of stroke. Here are the symptoms you must be aware off:
- Language problem or tongue slip
- Vision change
- Living in a confused state for longP
- Problem in balancing
- Tingling sensation
- Passing out
- Severe headache
- Abnormal taste or smell
- Sudden weakness or numbness in one side of the body and face
What are the Conditions Affecting Ministroke?
There are two conditions which tend to occur in people who suffer from ministroke. One is dysphasia that is speech disability and temporary blindness in one eye.
People who get transient ischemic attack may have some kind of speech disability. This is not permanent; it remains only until the ministroke is there. After a ministroke dysphasia may remain for a few days and eventually the condition of the person gets better. In this the person is unable to understand or speak words properly. There can be lot of tongue slip or difficulty in processing words. It can also occur because of blockage during ministroke in dominant brain hemisphere.
Temporary Blindness in One Eye
Transient ischemic attack may also disturb your visual senses. Condition of temporary blindness in one eye after a ministroke is termed as transient monocular blindness. Basically it is not that person becomes visually impaired but vision of his one eye suddenly becomes much dimmed. This results in blurry vision for some minutes. In this condition you may not be able to read on white background or sheet.
What Causes Ministroke?
This brain disorder can be caused due to multiple reason but most of it are related to stroke. The cause of ministroke and brain stroke is almost the same such as blockage in supply of blood in the brain. Cholesterol deposits and accumulation of fatty acids in the arteries that supply oxygen or nutrient to brain can also cause transient ischemic attack. Other causes can include-
- High cholesterol
- Carotid artery disease
- Narrow arteries because of plaque build-up
Risk Factors Of Transient Ischemic Attack
There are some risk factors that can be controlled whereas as some cannot be controlled. Since transient ischemic attack increases the risk of stroke. It is important to know about the risk factors and take steps to prevent it in whatever way possible.
High Blood Pressure- Risk of stroke becomes significant if your blood pressure rises above 140/90 mm Hg. High blood pressure can be a sign of ministroke and it can prevail more often depending on your age.
Cardiovascular Diseases- Diseases such as heart failure, defect in heart, infection or abnormal heart rate rhythm may be a risk factor for transient ischemic attack.
Diabetes- Diabetes is a major risk factor because it increases severity of the patient and contributes in narrowing of the blood stream or arteries. It can be dangerous for people and can cause several ministrokes during your life span.
Peripheral artery disease- It is a disease due to which blood vessels in your arms and legs become clogged resulting in risk of ministroke.
High Levels of Homocysteine- amino acids play a vital role in clogging or blocking the blood veins. High levels of amino acids in the body can increase the risk of ministroke and stroke rapidly.
Smoking- cigarettes increase the risk of blood clots which result in high blood pressure. Smoking also makes cholesterol containing fatty deposits in your arteries which becomes a major risk factor for transient ischemic attack, stroke and many such health problems. Quit smoking to reduce this risk.
Transient ischemic attack or ministroke is a brain disorder that occurs because of blockage in one of the arteries supplying oxygen or nutrients to the brain. This stroke causes severe headache and feeling of paralysis in one side of your face. Transient ischemic attack does not cause permanent damage to brain but can lead to some health disorder or increased risk of stroke. People above the age of 50 are at higher risk of developing this disease. It is best to be aware of the symptoms and take necessary precautions to avoid this condition. It can cause temporary vision loss and speech disability as well. Risk factors such as smoking diabetes, blood pressure and cholesterol levels should be controlled. If you find any symptoms of this brain ministroke, then consult your doctor immediately.
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