A new study conducted suggests that warning signs of a stroke can appear even a week before the actual attack. Researchers have found that every ‘one’ of out of three survivors of stroke had suffered ‘mini-strokes’ prior to the actual stroke. These mini-strokes are called TIA (transient ischemic attacks).
Ischemic attacks contribute to nearly 80% of all strokes. These are caused by the blood vessel supplying the brain, which is blocked. The 20% of remaining strokes are caused by the bursting of a blood vessel.
According to the researchers, it was known facts that the TIA’s that produce symptoms similar to stroke often warn of the coming stroke. These signs are tingling or numbness. These mini-strokes last for around five minutes and do not cause any injury to the brain.
What the researchers are not able to determine is how urgently the patients need to be assessed so that a major stroke can be prevented. It is important to conduct a study on this timing of the TIA. It is important that effective treatments are initiated within a short span of time of the TIA.
Warning signs of Stroke Start Early:
In a recent study, researchers evaluated around 2,416 people who had suffered an ischemic stroke. It was found that almost 23% of the patients who suffered a stroke had experienced a mini-stroke prior to the stroke.
Of all those who experienced this TIA, almost 17% had experienced this on the very day of the stroke, 9% had this on the previous day and 43% had suffered at some time during the week that leads up to the stroke.
According to the researchers, there is a short time window between the TIA and the stroke and thus it is very important to treat those patients with TIA urgently. This can prevent brain damage that is caused by a stroke.
In many places, patients with TIA are referred to the OPD (Outpatient department) and not seen for a few weeks. Researchers disagree with this line of treatment and say that preventive treatment needs to be administered to the patient within the first few hours of the TIA.
Risk Factors for TIA:
Some of the risk factors for TIA and stroke are outside the control of people, but there are specific factors that can only increase the risk of TIA and stroke.
These risk factors related to lifestyle can be changed.
- High Levels of Cholesterol
- High Blood Pressure
- Diabetes that is not managed
- Lack of physical activity
- Diet with high-fat, more so the saturated fats.
- Over-consumption of alcohol
- High-salt diet.
The treatment for TIA is specifically for the prevention of a stroke. Some of the options that are included are drugs to reduce the clotting of blood, antihypertensive medication, drugs for lowering cholesterol, and possibly surgery for removing the blockage of the carotid artery.
Those who have experienced TIA need to make immediate changes to their lifestyle.