Inadequate blood supply to the brain can result in a brain attack, also known as ischemic stroke. The condition requires prompt medical attention. Read on to know the symptoms of different types of strokes….
Brain ischemia or cerebral ischemia is a serious condition which is experienced by an individual due to insufficient blood supply to the brain. Insufficient blood supply deprives the brain of oxygen (cerebral hypoxia), and can lead to necrosis (death) of the brain tissue. The condition is also known as cerebral infarction or ischemic stroke (a type of stroke). The ischemia can be confined to a small part of the brain, or it can damage wide areas of brain tissue. It leads to affected brain metabolism, resulting in reduced metabolic rate and impaired energy production.
As brain contains several centers that control various activities, insufficient blood flow to the brain results in affected vision, restricted movement, depending upon which areas of the brain are affected by ischemia. A mini stroke is referred to as Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA), and is said to have occurred when there is insufficient blood supply to an area of the brain for a brief period only. About 80% of strokes are ischemic strokes.
A complete stroke often leads to numbness in the limbs and difficulty in speaking. Mini stroke does not lead to long-lasting effects on the body while a complete stroke results in permanent disability of some kind. Prompt treatment after noticing the symptoms of mini stroke helps avoid severe consequences. Formation of plaque or a blood clot in an artery is one of the common reasons of obstructed blood supply to an organ.
Causes of Poor Blood Supply to the Brain
What causes a mini stroke? Several diseases and abnormalities can lead to ischemic strokes. Here is a list of diseases and disorders leading to poor blood flow to the brain.
- Sickle cell anemia
- Compressed blood vessels
- Ventricular tachycardia, irregular heartbeats
- Plaque buildup in the arteries, high cholesterol levels
- Blood clots
- Extremely low blood pressure as a result of heart attack, drug overdose or reaction to drugs
- Congenital heart defects
- Tumors compressing the blood vessels
- Cardiorespiratory arrest
- Moyamoya disease, a rare cerebrovascular condition.
Risk Factors of Insufficient Blood Supply to the Brain
- A family history
- Being overweight
- Excessive smoking
- Alcohol or drug abuse
- Excessive consumption of certain medicines
- Having high cholesterol, a blood clot
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular diseases
Symptoms of Inadequate Blood Supply to the Brain
- Sudden headache, one of the main warning signs of a mini stroke.
- Vomiting, dizziness and fainting
- Numbness or tingling sensation in body parts.
- Partial weakness, numbness, mild paralysis of one side of the face or leg or arm on one side.
- Weakness or numbness in one arm or leg
- Drooping mouth or eyes
- Inability to smile
- Difficulty in raising the arm or leg
- Vision problems like blurred vision, double vision, temporary loss of vision through one eye
- Confusion, weird behavior
- Slurred speech, difficulty in understanding what others are speaking
- Loss of balance and coordination
- Trouble with walking
- Difficulty swallowing
Not only interrupted blood supply to the ‘brain’, but also insufficient blood supply to the ‘spinal cord’ can lead to several health complications. Blood supply may get interrupted for a few seconds, or a minute, in case of a mini stroke. Noticing the above signs and symptoms for more than 5 minutes indicates a complete stroke. Both conditions are considered as serious and you should act fast, if you notice these symptoms in any of your family members or friends. Dial 911, or the emergency helpline number of your area, for help.