early on symptoms of a mini-stroke
HAVE you ever felt
numbness in the face, arm or
leg which went away within minutes or hours? Generally, most people are unaware
of this, but you could have just experienced a mini-stroke.
Mini-stroke, also called "brain attacks", is known medically as transient
ischemic attacks (TIA). A mini-stroke happens when the blood supply to the brain
is temporarily blocked.
Blood supply is very important to the brain as food and oxygen are, carried to
the brain cell for normal functioning of the cell. If the
blood supply is stopped for a period of time, brain cells subsequently die.
The brain cells are very important to humans because unlike other cells in the
body they do not grow again - once they are dead, they are dead.
What happens during a mini-stroke? During this time, brain cells are not getting
enough blood supply.
When your brain cells are not functioning properly, you may feel some of these
These symptoms can last a few minutes to a few hours. However, it is a medical
emergency and you should call your local emergency number immediately.
Even if your symptoms go away, you still need urgent medical attention to find
out what was causing these symptoms for you in the first place, and to reduce
your risk from the occurrence of a full-blown stroke.
Many people do not worry about a mini-stroke since the person feels normal again
within minutes hours. However, these people are missing out on an important
warning sign where the symptoms are an indication of circulatory problems in the
In fact, statistics show that one in 10 of these patients develop a
stroke as early as one week after a mini-stroke.
As University of California
clinical director of a research centre Irvine Dr Steven Cramer, aptly puts it,
"[People who have a TIA] have won the stroke lottery. They found out there is
something wrong without having to pay the big stroke price."
blood supply ceases completely and brain cells start dying unless medical
treatment is given immediately. Even though some people survive, statistics show
that two-thirds of survivors suffer some form of disability.
because the brain cells controlling certain functions of the body are dead.
Disability is a huge consequence to a person as well as their family - people
can lose the ability to do what they love most; some even lose the ability to do
basic things in life.
There are some risk factors that are unchangeable such
as a person's age, family history, ethnicity or their own history of mini-stroke
However, together with your doctor, you can try and manage your
blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes to be within the recommended levels.
You can also try and maintain a healthy weight, quit smoking, lower your alcohol
consumption levels, reduce your stress levels and try to increase physical
All the above risk factor reduction is very important and should
be a priority for every person with stroke risk.
You can also protect your
brain cells with a neuroprotective agent. Palm tocotrienol is well researched
for its neuroprotective functions.
All this helps to minimise brain cell death
in the event of a stroke. Every brain cell that can be salvaged during a stroke
may make a huge difference in terms of a stroke patient's survival and quality