People may experience some or all of these symptoms for less than
twenty-four hours duration. These mini strokes/brain attacks are known
as Transient Ischaemic Attacks or TIAs and always warrant investigation
at a major hospital. They may be the only warning received of a BIG
one coming. Occasionally some people have a string of these before
disaster strikes but no one can ever be sure. Its much better to be
properly checked at a major hospital so the cause can be identified
and corrective medication initiated.
COMPARISON OF TREATMENTS
Strokes and heart attacks caused by clots or detached plaque can have
similarities in their causes but vast difference in their outcomes.
Also the equipment used to identify them are very different. Almost
every GP has an ECG machine to check on the heart. They are unlikely
to have an expensive CATscan machine or a Magnetic Resonance Imaging
machine, which are necessary to properly investigate Brain Attacks.
Where Clots or detached plaque are concerned, drugs to dissolve clots
and thin the blood are usually involved.
These are not appropriate where
a ‘bleeder’ or
ruptured blood vessel causes a Stroke, as they would exacerbate the
and may cause death.
With Stroke and TIAs prompt investigation
with ultrasound may reveal the arteries in the neck are restricted
to a greater or lesser degree.
Modern surgical techniques make it possible in many cases to clear
the plaque in the obstructed artery or to create a greater passageway
for blood to flow through. Many people can survive complete blockage
of one artery due to the ‘Circle of Willis’ where blood
from the other artery is feeding the opposite end of the bloodvessel
looped through the brain. They often don’t know they have a problem
until both arteries reach crisis point with plaque. Not everyone is
fortunate enough to have a complete ‘Circle of Willis’ however.
People whose ‘Circle’ isn’t complete strike trouble
as soon as the primary artery is restricted even if the other artery
is pretty clear.