Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Mini' stroke can cause major disability, may warrant clot-busters

Date:
September 13, 2012
Source:
American Heart Association
Summary:
A transient ischemic attack, TIA or a "mini stroke," can lead to serious disability, but is frequently deemed by doctors too mild to treat, according to a new study.

A transient ischemic attack, TIA or a "mini stroke," can lead to serious disability, but is frequently deemed by doctors too mild to treat, according to a study in the American Heart Association journal Stroke.

Patients with transient ischemic attack, TIA or "mini" stroke, are not typically given clot-busting drugs because the condition is considered too mild to treat. However, 15 percent of patients had some disability 90 days after a mini stroke. Some patients with minor stroke may benefit from clot-busting drug treatment.

"Our study shows that TIA and minor stroke patients are at significant risk of disability and need early assessment and treatment," said Shelagh Coutts, M.D., lead author of the study at Foothills Hospital in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. "We should be imaging patients earlier and be more aggressive in treating patients with thrombolysis if we can see a blockage no matter how minor the symptoms are."

Thrombolysis is a treatment used to dissolve dangerous clots and restore healthy blood flow to the brain. TIA and minor stroke patients don't typically receive this treatment because the condition is frequently not deemed serious enough to warrant it, researchers said.

Among the 499 patients studied, 15 percent had at least minor disability 90 days after their original "mini stroke." Minor disability was defined as being unable to carry out previous activities, but capable of and handling personal affairs without assistance.

Computed tomography (CT) scans showed some "mini stroke" patients had narrowed blood vessels in the brain, and others reported ongoing or worsening symptoms. Those patients were more than twice as likely to have disability at 90 days. Coutts suggests that thrombolysis treatment should be considered in these patients.

Patients with type 2 diabetes had a similarly high risk of disability. Also, women were nearly twice as likely as men to be disabled 90 days after TIA.

"For every second after a mini stroke, the patient's brain may be losing oxygen -- possibly leading to a major event," Coutts said. "If a scan finds that you have a narrowing of a blood vessel in or outside of the brain, you are at a high risk of being disabled."

Recurrent strokes posed the greatest threat to patients. Of those who had recurrent strokes, 53 percent were disabled, compared to 12 percent of patients without a recurrent stroke.

In 2009, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association recommended immediate action and thorough testing for TIA -- much like the exams performed after a full-blown stroke. These exams can show blockage in a brain blood vessel, which can increase patients' risk of a subsequent, more serious event.

"The symptoms of a TIA -- abrupt onset of inability to move one side of your body, numbness on one side, dizziness and trouble walking -- may pass quickly," Coutts said. "But, if you experience them, you should immediately go to the hospital, where proper scans can be done. Based on these results we have started a trial in Canada giving clot busting drugs to patients with mild symptoms, but blocked blood vessels in the brain.

"If ignored, these symptoms can lead to death. This is not a benign disease."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Heart Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Shelagh B. Coutts, Jayesh Modi, Shiel K. Patel, Heidi Aram, Andrew M. Demchuk, Mayank Goyal, and Michael D. Hill. What Causes Disability After Transient Ischemic Attack and Minor Stroke?: Results From the CT And MRI in the Triage of TIA and Minor Cerebrovascular Events to Identify High Risk Patients (CATCH) Study. Stroke, 2012; DOI: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.112.665141

Cite This Page:

American Heart Association. "'Mini' stroke can cause major disability, may warrant clot-busters." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120913162437.htm>.
American Heart Association. (2012, September 13). 'Mini' stroke can cause major disability, may warrant clot-busters. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120913162437.htm
American Heart Association. "'Mini' stroke can cause major disability, may warrant clot-busters." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120913162437.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dieting At A Young Age Might Lead To Harmful Health Habits

Dieting At A Young Age Might Lead To Harmful Health Habits

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Researchers say women who diet at a young age are at greater risk of developing harmful health habits, including eating disorders and alcohol abuse. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

Newsy (July 29, 2014) If you've been looking for love online, there's a chance somebody has been looking at how you're looking. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins