What is a microstroke dangerous and what are its consequences

Despite the popularity of the term “microstroke,” official medicine does not know such a diagnosis. By this consonant word, doctors understand a transistor ischemic attack (TIA) or a temporary violation of cerebral blood flow – the first signal of the body about an impending massive cerebral infarction.

Despite the harmless prefix, a microstroke is a serious reason to reconsider your lifestyle and a more careful attitude to your health. The opinion that this disease is characteristic of patients of mature age with worn vessels is erroneous. The disease gets younger every year and can catch even thirty-year-olds by surprise.

The main signs of an impending microstroke are not able to determine everything, because nausea, headache, short-term partial loss of vision, “flies” in the eyes are signs of many ailments. We often do not pay attention to such symptoms, which occur in a few minutes and disappear within a few hours, and experience a microstroke on our feet, increasing the risk of it recurring with more serious consequences.

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Many victims after the first microstroke develop a full-fledged heart attack of the brain tissues within a year. What a microstroke is and why it is dangerous, everyone should know, because only timely hospitalization can help a patient survive a crisis without serious complications.

Stroke and microstroke – what are the differences?

The condition provoked by the deterioration of cerebral circulation, hemorrhage in the brain tissue is known to everyone. Due to the reduction of blood flow or rupture of blood vessels, brain cells die. The consequences are irreversible – from speech impairment and body paralysis to death. According to medical statistics, in Russia every year 400 thousand patients with stroke are detected, 35% of cases are fatal.

A brain microstroke is a special case of cerebral blood flow disturbance with damage to the vascular system. Small vessels and small areas of their accumulation are destroyed when a sharp narrowing of the bloodstream or blockage by an atherosclerotic plaque occurs.

The main difference between diseases is short duration: TIA appears in several minutes or hours. Then the brain’s capabilities are more restored. While with a normal stroke, the consequences are usually irreversible. An untimely diagnosed microstroke is a common occurrence.

The insidiousness of the disease is that the victim does not always understand what is happening to him. Since the affected area is insignificant, the chances of a full recovery when seeking medical help in the first three hours are great. After the disappearance of a blood clot, the victim experiences significant relief. With a stroke, blockage of the vascular bed persists.

On the video there is a consultation of Professor E. Malysheva on how to distinguish a stroke from a micro-stroke.

What are the signs of a disease?

If one symptom can still be skipped and attributed to a general malaise, then the combination of several signs is a sure bell of the body about an ischemic transistor attack.

  1. Numbness of the face, arms, legs with a complete loss of sensitivity, lack of control over the facial muscles;
  2. Weakness of the extremities is more evident on one side of the body;
  3. Asymmetric facial features (drooping eyelid, crooked mouth);
  4. Lack of coordination, difficulty in moving (gait of a drunk person);
  5. Bifurcation of vision, which does not allow to see an object simultaneously with two eyes;
  6. Short-term loss of vision with the flickering of white or black dots in front of the eyes;
  7. Suddenly arising noise in the head and pain in the frontal part, to which there is no explanation;
  8. Short swoon;
  9. Violation of speech functions: slurred speech, burr, lisping, intermittent; the tongue feels swollen and uncontrollable;
  10. In the throat there is a constant lump that cannot be swallowed;
  11. Painful perception of harsh sounds, smells and bright lighting;
  12. The likelihood of a gag reflex;
  13. Chills and goose bumps at normal temperature;
  14. High blood pressure is a protective reaction of the body;
  15. Inexplicable fatigue.
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Some signs of a microstroke (loss of vision, asymmetric facial features) depend on the affected area. For problems in the left hemisphere, signs are noticeable on the right side of the body, and vice versa.

TIA can be seen on MRI: point hemorrhages are observed on the monitor. MRI allows doctors to differentiate pathological disorders – tumors, tissue necrosis. The magnetic resonance method gives the doctor more information than computed tomography.

Symptoms of a microstroke are of a one-time nature and are detected, as a rule, after a sharp drop in blood pressure. Not all signs may appear from this list.

Gender differences in the symptoms of microstroke

The body of a man and a woman has its own functional characteristics, so the risks and symptoms of the female and male variants of the disease also differ.

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Microstroke in women

Nature endowed women with a greater propensity for the development of a microstroke and its “elder brother.” The physiological characteristics of the body provide a high risk of blood clots and vascular pathologies.

It is more difficult to identify the first signs of TIA in women, since many of them can be confused with manifestations of hormonal disorders. Women are emotionally responsive to stress and fixated on problems. This increases the chance of being at risk. For this variant of a microstroke, such symptoms or the first signs in women are characteristic:

  • Numbness of facial facial muscles of the face or its half;
  • Tingling sensation in arms or legs;
  • Hyperemia of the face, rapid breathing;
  • Convulsive muscle contractions;
  • Symptom of “goose” integuments at normal temperature;
  • Difficulties with building connected sentences;
  • Unexpected and sharp pain in the head;
  • Darkening in the eyes.

Sometimes in women, the manifestations of TIA are different:

  • Unexpected hiccups;
  • Depression, uncontrolled emotions;
  • Sharp pain in the arm or leg;
  • Dyspeptic disorders;
  • Loss of orientation or consciousness;
  • Pain in the chest;
  • Thirst and dry mouth;
  • Asthma attacks;
  • A sharp acceleration of the heartbeat.

Features of the manifestation of an attack in men

There are signs of a microstroke, which are more often manifested in men:

  • Confused consciousness;
  • Sudden uncontrolled weakness, fatigue, drowsiness;
  • Hearing loss;
  • Unstable gait;
  • Inadequate perception of others;
  • Slurred speech;
  • Unexpected headaches.

In addition to typical signs, there are also rare symptoms of a micro stroke in men, similar to the female type. In both men and women, there is an absolute absence of external manifestations of a microstroke.

Prerequisites for impaired vascular performance

The reasons that provoke the development of a microstroke are standard, they can also be applied to other diseases of the heart and blood vessels.

  • Systematic overeating, an unbalanced diet with a high content of animal fats;
  • Excess weight;
  • Alcohol abuse and smoking;
  • Sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise;
  • Regular overwork;
  • Painful reaction to stress;
  • Excessive loads;
  • Adverse environmental conditions;
  • Postponed cardiological operations (for example, installation of a heart valve);
  • Cold climate (contributes to an increase in blood pressure);
  • A sharp change in weather and climate.

They provoke a micro stroke and some diseases:

  • Uncompensated diabetes mellitus (with glucose changes);
  • Atherosclerosis in progression (reduces the diameter of the lumen of blood vessels);
  • A violation of cerebral blood flow, passing into the heart;
  • Lesions of the heart valves of an infectious or rheumatic nature (contribute to their destruction);
  • Congenital heart defects;
  • Myocardial infarction is the cause of TIA, complicating its diagnosis;
  • Arteritis (an inflammatory process that affects the inner walls of blood vessels);
  • Thrombosis;
  • Arrhythmias – if there is a disturbance in the heartbeat, microthrombi arise, clogging the vessels of the brain (arrhythmia reduces pressure, worsens cerebral blood flow);
  • Oncological problems;
  • Hypertensive diseases with their vivid symptoms overshadow all the signs of a microstroke;
  • Apnea (respiratory arrest during sleep for 10 seconds or more).
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Who is at risk

All of the listed categories of patients and those leading an unhealthy lifestyle automatically fall into this sad list.

Age is far from the most important criterion: during a session during a brain overload a microstroke can happen in students. In general, in women, the likelihood of developing TIA increases after 60, in men – after 40. At risk:

  1. Hypertensive patients and angina pectoris. High blood pressure is the main provocateur of an attack.
  2. A microstroke has a hereditary nature, if there were patients with a stroke or myocardial infarction in the family, all family members have a genetic predisposition automatically.
  3. In pregnant women, the uterus is actively growing and contracting, there is a risk in women using birth control drugs.
  4. Patients with blood diseases (high coagulability, thrombosis).
  5. Uncontrolled diabetes can cause blockage of the brain vessels.
  6. With obesity, hypertension is not uncommon, which means that there is a tendency to micro-strokes.
  7. Patients diagnosed with ischemic attack, cerebrovascular accident, hypertensive crisis are also at risk.
  8. The abuse of alcohol and tobacco, the use of narcotic drugs provoke an attack at a young age.
  9. Patients with complaints of frequent headaches and weather dependence are more likely to experience vascular problems than others.

What to look for

Sometimes an attack is easier to recognize from the side than to orient the victim himself. How to determine a microstroke, what signs can be seen first?

  • A man suddenly became silent or his speech became incoherent;
  • You have to ask him repeatedly;
  • He does not respond to treatment, he has a confused look, prostration;
  • Suddenly he dropped an object that he still held tight;
  • The victim cannot immediately pick it up;
  • He is tormented by a fit of hiccups;
  • All his movements resemble a state of intoxication.

First aid for the victim

The signs of a microstroke vary depending on the location of the lesion and the gender of the victim. With an external examination, internal bleeding is not diagnosed, so if you find the listed symptoms, you must call an ambulance. First aid to a victim of a microstroke is similar to a patient with a stroke. Its main goal is to stop brain damage, to minimize the consequences:

  1. The victim is created absolute peace. It is la />If the conditions and condition of the patient allow, you can make a hot foot bath.
  2. First of all, a person needs to be reassured: any herbal remedy (hawthorn, valerian) is suitable.
  3. Ice can be applied to the back of the head.
  4. Make sure that the victim does not get up, does not make sudden movements.
  5. A light head massage is useful: circular strokes in the direction from the temples to the back of the head, from the crown to the shoulder, then to the knees.
  6. Do not give the patient antispasmodics.

Even if the patient feels better, and there are no signs of a microstroke, medical attention is needed. It is impossible to detect disturbances in the blood supply to the brain at home, without appropriate preparation. Methods of pathoanatomical research have been developed that make it possible to accurately diagnose small point hemorrhage.

How are brain dysfunctions treated?

With a microstroke, in the first hours, the cages die, but since the extent of damage is insignificant, brain tissue and lost functions are gradually restored. In order to recover completely, the victim must be taken to the hospital within 3 hours after the attack. The technique is based on the need to restore cerebral blood flow in the affected area. To choose the optimal treatment regimen, it is important to study the medical history – complaints, medications used.

Microstroke treatment involves a comprehensive:

  • Means that dilate blood vessels and improve blood flow (Instenon, Xanthinol);
  • Medicines that restore metabolic processes and microcirculation in the vessels;
  • Medications that prevent platelet fusion and their accumulation on the walls of blood vessels such as Ticlopidine and Dipyridamole;
  • Metabolic drugs that help saturate the blood with oxygen (Mexico and Actovegin);
  • Nootropics that improve brain activity such as Cinnarizine;
  • Means controlling blood pressure.
Tatyana Jakowenko

Editor-in-chief of the Detonic online magazine, cardiologist Yakovenko-Plahotnaya Tatyana. Author of more than 950 scientific articles, including in foreign medical journals. He has been working as a cardiologist in a clinical hospital for over 12 years. He owns modern methods of diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases and implements them in his professional activities. For example, it uses methods of resuscitation of the heart, decoding of ECG, functional tests, cyclic ergometry and knows echocardiography very well.

For 10 years, she has been an active participant in numerous medical symposia and workshops for doctors - families, therapists and cardiologists. He has many publications on a healthy lifestyle, diagnosis and treatment of heart and vascular diseases.

He regularly monitors new publications of European and American cardiology journals, writes scientific articles, prepares reports at scientific conferences and participates in European cardiology congresses.