Mini Stroke: Symptoms & Risk Factors for Seniors
A mini stroke is more common in seniors than in younger adults, so it’s important to know the signs and symptoms, as well as what to do if you or an elderly loved one has one. Read on to learn more about how this dangerous neurological dysfunction can strike seniors.
What is a Mini Stroke?
A transient ischemic attack is the medical term for a mini stroke, which is a temporary cerebrovascular dysfunction caused by a lack of blood flow in the brain or spinal cord that does not result in permanent disabilities or brain damage.
Are Mini Strokes Dangerous?
The risk of a stroke is highest within the first 48 hours after a transient ischemic attack, according to a study. Knowing the signs and symptoms can help a senior get medical help. One in every three people who have a mini stroke will have a stroke later on.
What Are the First Signs (Symptoms) of a Mini Stroke?
While the symptoms of a TIA usually pass quickly, it’s critical to call 911 if a senior is experiencing stroke-like symptoms.
What Are the Risk Factors for TIA?
Seniors are more likely than younger adults to have a TIA episode, and strokes are reported on Mondays more often than any other day of the week.
A doctor will usually conduct various diagnostic tests, such as an MRI scan or CT scan, in order to treat a TIA and prevent a full stroke. Remember, if a senior is at risk of a stroke, someone must be with them at all times.
What causes mini strokes in the elderly?
Plaque builds up inside blood vessels in the neck that carry blood to the brain, causing carotid artery disease (CAD). If enough plaque builds up in the internal carotid artery, the brain receives less oxygenated blood, which can lead to a mini-stroke.
How can you tell if an elderly person has had a mini-stroke?
Symptoms appear out of nowhere and include:
- Numbness or weakness, particularly on one side of the body.
- Confusion, difficulty speaking, difficulty understanding speech.
- Trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
- Difficulty walking.
- Balance or coordination problems.
What are the warning signs of a TIA?
Signs and Symptoms
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body.
- Sudden confusion.
- Sudden difficulty speaking.
- Sudden difficulty seeing in one or both eyes.
- Sudden difficulty walking.
- Sudden dizziness, loss of balance, or coordination.
What is the life expectancy after a mini-stroke?
At one year after admission, 91.5 percent of TIA patients were still alive, compared to 95 percent expected survival in the general population, and survival of TIA patients was 13.2 percent lower than expected at five years, with 67.2 percent still alive, compared to an expected survival of 77.4 percent.
Can elderly recover from mini stroke?
Although the symptoms are very similar to those of a stroke, they go away within 24 hours, with most cases lasting less than an hour, and sometimes as little as one minute. Unlike a regular stroke, it does not cause permanent disabilities or brain damage.
How is TIA treated in the elderly?
Aspirin is the most commonly used anti-platelet medication, and it is also the least expensive treatment with the fewest potential side effects. Clopidogrel (Plavix) is an anti-platelet drug that is an alternative to aspirin.
What happens right before a stroke?
Weakness or numbness of the face, arm, or leg, usually on one side of the body; difficulty speaking or understanding; and vision problems, such as dimness or loss of vision in one or both eyes, are all warning signs of a stroke.
What happens if a mini stroke goes untreated?
The brain ages up to 36 years if a stroke is left untreated for the full 10 hours! Every minute you wait, the brain loses two million brain cells, so every second counts when it comes to stroke treatment. Unfortunately, many stroke patients are unable to seek help for themselves due to the nature of the attack.
How long can an 80 year old live after a stroke?
According to this hospital-based retrospective study, approximately two-thirds of AIS patients over the age of 80 died at a median of 5 1.9 years (range, 2 – 9 years) after the onset of the stroke.
How do you stop further TIAs?
- Stop smoking. Quitting smoking lowers your risk of a TIA or stroke.
- Limit cholesterol and fat.
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
- Limit sodium.
- Exercise regularly.
- Limit alcohol intake.
- Don’t use illicit drugs.
What is the most common cause of TIA?
Most TIAs are caused by a blood clot that forms elsewhere in your body and travels to the blood vessels supplying the brain, but it can also be caused by fatty material or air bubbles.
Can doctors tell if you’ve had a mini stroke?
The only way to tell the difference between a ministroke and a stroke is for a doctor to examine an image of your brain using either a CT scan or an MRI scan. If you’ve had a stroke, it’s likely that it won’t show up on a CT scan of your brain for 24 to 48 hours, but an MRI scan will usually show it sooner.
How serious are TIAs?
A TIA can be a warning sign that a full-blown stroke is on the way; about one-third of people who have a TIA go on to have a stroke within a year. Although TIAs aren’t life-threatening, it’s still important to treat them as an emergency and seek treatment as soon as possible.
Can you live 20 years after a stroke?
Long-term survival rates among the younger population studied u2013 A recent Dutch study focusing specifically on 18 to 50 year olds found that among those who survived past one month, those who suffered an ischemic stroke had a 27% chance of dying within twenty years, with TIA sufferers coming in second at 25%.
What is the life expectancy after a TIA?
Patients diagnosed with TIA aged 18 to 49 years old had a relative survival rate of 99.4% at 1 year and 97.5% at 5 years; by 9 years, relative survival had dropped to 97.0%. Patients aged 50 to 64 years old had relative survival rates of 98.6%, 95.6%, and 94.1% at 1, 5, and 9 years, respectively.