Transient Ischemic Attack
Transient Ischemic Attack or TIA occurs when there is a brief impairment in blood flow to the brain. This results in stroke-like symptoms such as dizziness, confusion, clumsiness, lack of coordination and difficulty in reading, writing or recognizing people. The patient might experience trouble speaking and understanding speech. There might be slurred speech and dimming of vision. A TIA is different from a stroke in that it does not cause death of brain tissue. Besides, the blockage dissolves soon.
Typical reasons for a transient ischemic attack are blood clots, high blood pressure, diabetes, atrial fibrillation and high cholesterol. Several tests can help diagnose if a person has suffered a transient ischemic attack. Irregular blood flow can be detected by an abnormal sound (bruit) that is noticed with a stethoscope. ECG or angiogram is done to check where the blood flow is blocked. Blood pressure is likely to be very high. The source of atherosclerosis is usually identified with an ultrasound. Aspirin might be prescribed to reduce blood clotting. Other conditions such as hypertension, diabetes and cholesterol need to be treated.
When a person suffers a stroke that is not characterized by any outward symptoms, it is a silent stroke. Often even the patient is not aware of it. A silent stroke usually affects those areas of the brain that deal with thought process and mood regulation. A silent stroke damages a few cells in the brain, which are likely to die over time. A link between depression and silent stroke has been noticed. They are both indicative of reduced blood supply to the brain.
A silent stroke can cause damage to the brain and can be a precursor to a major stroke or transient ischemic attack. Hypertension, atrial fibrillation and smoking are the major triggers for a silent stroke. Elevated levels of total homocysteine or acrolein is a risk factor for a silent stroke. Untreated diabetes can also lead to a silent stroke. A silent stroke episode is usually detected through an MRI can it usually causes lesions that are visible during imaging.
A silent stroke can occur in different ways:
Ischemic stroke: This kind of stroke is the one that most patients suffer when there is blockage of blood supply to the brain due to impaired blood vessels.
Hemorrhagic stroke: This kind of stroke occurs when a blood vessel carrying blood to the brain gets weak and ruptures. Aneurysms are examples of a condition leading to a stroke.
Studies have proved that persons engaging in moderate or intensive exercise on a regular basis had far lesser chance of experiencing a silent stroke.
Cardiac arrhythmia or Cardiac dysrhythmia refers to a disturbance of the heart rhythm. When the regular heart rhythm is disturbed, it can lead to symptoms that can range from mild to life-threatening. The heart may have slower beats or there may be a blockage of the electrical pathway of the heart. One of the most common form of cardiac arrhythmia is atrial fibrillation. This occurs in older persons when the upper atrial chambers of the heart do not pump correctly. This can lead to blood clots. Heart failure or electrolyte imbalance can bring on cardiac arrhythmia.
Tachycardia or Tachydysrhythmia is a condition where there is rapid heartbeat due to inefficiency in the blood circulation. Tachycardia is a condition where the heart rhythm is more than 100 beats/minute. This can happen due to stress, hyperthyroidism or alcohol. On the other hand, Bradycardia or bradyarrhythmia is a condition where the heart rhythm is less than 60 beats/min. A ventricular arrhythmia can be life-threatening. This happens when there is ventricular fibrillation. It is essential to treat this condition and restore the rhythm within minutes to prevent heart damage and death. Allergic reactions can trigger arrhythmia.
Some persons suffering from cardiac arrhythmia notice symptoms such as dizziness, fainting and lightheadedness. There may be a fluttering or pounding sensation in the chest. Anti arrhythmic agents such as amiodarone and sotalol are prescribed to maintain the normal rhythm of the heart. Amiodarone is effective atrial flutter and to establish heart's normal rhythm.
In cases of atrial fibrillation, Warfarin is used to prevent blood clots. Medication for cardiac dysrhythmia includes beta blockers such as metoprolol and atenolol to reduce the heart rhythm. An electronic cardiac pacemaker may be implanted to regulate the heart beat.
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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: December 9, 2019