Chris Fountain says he couldn't 'read aloud' after mini-stroke
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There are two main types of strokes: ischaemic strokes and haemorrhagic strokes. Despite a stroke’s sudden nature, the former could show warning signs as early as seven days before the full-blown emergency occurs. One of the tell-tale signs that can ring alarm bells is paraesthesia.
While stroke is often reluctant to show warning signs until the very last minute, there are some symptoms that might appear.
A study, published in the journal of the American Academy of Neurology, shares that ischaemic stroke can spur on first red flag symptoms as “early as seven days” before the attack.
Triggered by a blood clot that blocks the flow of blood and oxygen to your brain, an ischaemic stroke is considered to be the most common type.
The blood clots that are responsible for this emergency typically form in areas where your arteries have been narrowed or blocked by fatty deposits.
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Although ischaemic strokes are still very much life-threatening, the research suggests they can be preceded by so-called warning strokes or mini strokes.
Warning strokes or mini strokes are two common terms used to describe a transient ischaemic attack (TIA).
A transient ischaemic attack is caused by a temporary disruption in the blood supply to a part of the brain.
This health problem triggers symptoms similar to a stroke but it only lasts a few minutes and doesn’t cause brain injury.
One of the warning signs of TIA is sudden paraesthesia, according to the study.
Paraesthesia, or numbness and tingling, can strike in your face, arm or leg.
You can also experience weakness in these areas, with stroke paraesthesia often targeting just one side of the body.
This sudden warning sign can appear as early as a week before the full-blown medical emergency.
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Looking at 2,416 participants, the research team found that TIAs cropped up before the actual emergency and occurred within the week leading up to the stroke in 549 patients.
In fact, around 43 percent of the participants with warning strokes experienced the “early” signs at some point during the seven days before the event.
Study author Peter M. Rothwell said: “We have known for some time that TIAs are often a precursor to a major stroke.
“What we haven’t been able to determine is how urgently patients must be assessed following a TIA in order to receive the most effective preventive treatment.
“This study indicates that the timing of a TIA is critical, and the most effective treatments should be initiated within hours of a TIA in order to prevent a major attack.”
How to prevent a stroke
Fortunately, there are various lifestyle interventions that can reduce your risk of the medical emergency.
The NHS recommends a low-fat, high-fibre diet, rich in plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grains.
Furthermore, you shouldn’t eat more than six grams of salt a day, as the popular ingredient is a major cause of blood pressure, which is the precursor of strokes.
Quitting smoking, cutting back on alcohol and picking up exercise could also help.
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