Thursday, December 11, 2014

Post-TIA brain scans might yield vital information

Nobody likes to hear bad news - but sometimes, bad news might save a life.

Many people have transient ischemic attacks, or mini-strokes, before a larger stroke occurs. Now, imaging after a mini-stroke can help map a plan of treatment and, potentially, preventing a more serious stroke.

You can read here about how brain scans yield clues to future stroke risk:
Brain scans taken shortly after a mild stroke can help identify patients at risk of suffering another stroke within three months, a new study suggests.
The study included more than 2,000 people who had CT scans of the brain within 24 hours of suffering a mild, non-disabling stroke or a transient ischemic attack, which are sometimes called "mini-strokes." Of those patients, 40 percent had brain damage due to a lack of sufficient blood flow (ischemia).
Compared to people who didn't have an interruption in blood flow to part of their brains, the risk of another stroke within 90 days was almost three times higher in those with new brain damage due to poor blood circulation (acute ischemia), according to the researchers.
And the scans might even be able to predict when risk of stroke is highest:
But the researchers of this latest study - including Dr. Jeffrey J. Perry of the University of Ottawa in Canada - say that all patients who have a mild stroke should receive a CT scan, given how the brain images can predict when patients will be at highest risk of a subsequent stroke.
So even if the symptoms go away, it's important to get to care quickly - because next time, the symptoms might be permanent.

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