A mild stroke is known as a transient ischemic attack, or TIA. When someone is having a mild stroke, their physical symptoms usually disappear within a few minutes. However, even in the instance of a mild stroke, the brain sustains some damage.
Signs of a mild stroke include:
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty speaking
- Weakness or numbness on one side of the body
While someone who has experienced a mild stroke may feel relieved that they haven’t suffered a regular stroke (called an ischemic stroke), there are multiple after effects of a mild stroke.
Recently, researchers at the University of Montreal interviewed 177 patients within six weeks of having a mild stroke. The study found that even mild brain damage can make it hard for someone to concentrate and can lead to depression and other health problems, like sleepiness. Of the patients that participated in the study, nearly 25 percent were diagnosed with clinical depression following a mild stroke, and many experienced a loss of appetite, insomnia and fatigue. In some cases, patients who suffered a mild stroke had suicidal thoughts after the stroke.
What to do immediately after a mild stroke
If you think that someone is having a stroke, seek medical attention immediately. Even if the person is having a mild stroke, go to the ER and get treatment right away.
With a mild stroke, symptoms may have already subsided once a person reaches the hospital. However, this person should still be evaluated by a doctor after the stroke occurs. A mild stroke can be an indicator that a more serious stroke is on its way.
Reducing your risk factors of mild stroke and ischemic stroke
Compared to the general population, people who have suffered a mild stroke are five times more likely to have an ischemic stroke in the next two years. Patients who have experienced a mild stroke should follow up with their doctor regularly.
After a mild stroke, a doctor might recommend a heart attack rehabilitation program. A 2011 study found that mild stroke patients who participated in a cardiac rehabilitation program significantly reduced their risk of future stroke. A cardiac rehab program often includes heart health education, making a plan to improve one’s diet and get more exercise, treatment for depression and smoking cessation programs.
There are ways to reduce your risk of stroke — such as getting more exercise, controlling your blood pressure and eating a healthier diet. Talk to your doctor about potential stroke risk factors and reducing your chances of stroke.
From diagnosis and treatment to rehabilitation and recovery, conditions of the brain and spine require special care. When you choose a HealthONE hospital for neurology services, you can be confident that you will receive the best possible treatment from the most trusted neurology department in Denver. Our experienced neurosurgeons, neurologists and neuroscientists have specialized expertise in neurosurgery and spine surgery, including the most advanced minimally invasive neurosurgery techniques.
Our neurology departments offer acute stroke care and stroke rehabilitation, treating more stroke patients than any other health system in Colorado.