Ischemic Attack

MANILA, Philippines - During ischemia, tissues do not get enough oxygen because blood flow through vessels that supply those tissues is impeded. An ischemic attack in the brain resembles a stroke resulting from a cerebral embolism, but a transient ischemic attack differs in that the symptoms last less than 24 hours.

A sudden onset of weakness and numbness down one side of the body, for example, may last a few minutes or hours and then disappear, but the symptoms of a stroke last more than 24 hours. It is important to understand this difference. But transient ischemic attacks are often signals of impending stroke. Therefore, it should be quickly evaluated by a physician to attempt to avoid a stroke that may occur later and cause more serious and lasting damage.

The narrowing or obstruction of arteries to the brain can be caused by several factors. Most often, however, an ischemic attack occurs because a small clot or a piece of plaque (atherosclerosis) breaks away from the wall of an artery or heart halve and is carried into the brain. As the fragment of clot or plaque (called an embolus) passes through blood vessels in the brain, it temporarily impedes the flow to an area of brain tissue and causes stroke-like symptoms. The exact symptoms will vary, depending primarily on the portion of the brain affected. Circulation may soon be restored, however, and the temporarily deprived tissues recover. The block is therefore transient, or short-lived. But the problem is likely to occur.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms are like those of a stroke, but they do not last long. They may include headaches, dizziness, tingling, numbness, blurred vision, confusion, or loss of the use of part or one side of the body. If the embolus makes its way into an artery that supplies the eye, there may be temporary blindness in that eye.

What are the risks?

Recurring transient ischemic attacks often warn of an impending stroke. Nearly half of those who have transient ischemic attacks are apt to have a stroke within 5 years after they have their first attack.

What should be done?

If you have had stroke-like symptoms or sudden loss of vision in one eye, do not delay in consulting your physician, who will examine you and who may refer you to a neurologist. The first diagnostic step will be to try to identify the source of a possible embolus. A likely source of emboli is one of the two carotid arteries in your neck. To search for signs of narrowing of the carotid arteries, your physician may listen with a stethoscope to various places in your neck. Your physician may also listen with a stethoscope placed on your chest to pick up any sounds of an abnormal heart valve or irregularity in heartbeat rhythm. You may then need to have a portable electrocardiogram (Holter monitor) and also tests of neck arteries and heart (when rhythm changes exist) using ultrasound techniques. If these tests suggest that one of your carotid arteries is narrowed or blocked, and surgery is recommended, more tests may be done using X-rays and a dye injected into the circulatory system. These arteriograms give accurate pictures of the blood vessels that may be the source of the problem.

What is the treatment?

The purpose of treatment is to try to prevent a future stroke. The preventive measures used depend mainly on your age and general state of health. Medical treatment may consist simply of an aspirin tablet once a day for the rest of your life. Aspirin is a good weapon against recurrent attacks, since it acts as an anticoagulant, reducing the likelihood of blood clot formation. More powerful anticoagulant drugs have reduced the number of strokes in people with abnormal heart rhythms. In some cases surgery may be recommended to remove the fatty material that is the cause of the narrowing.


Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Lupita Nyong'o's $150,000 Oscars dress stolen from hotel
    Lupita Nyong'o's $150,000 Oscars dress stolen from hotel

    The $150,000 pearl-studded, custom-made Calvin Klein dress worn by Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o at this year's Academy Awards has been stolen, police said on Thursday. The gown, embellished with 6,000 natural white pearls, was stolen from Nyong'o's room at the London Hotel in West Hollywood, during the day on Wednesday, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department in West Hollywood said. "Ms Nyong'o was not in the room at the time of the theft," Deputy John Mitchell …

  • South Korea decriminalises adultery, condom shares soar
    South Korea decriminalises adultery, condom shares soar

    South Korea's Constitutional Court on Thursday struck down a controversial adultery law which for more than 60 years had criminalised extra-marital sex and jailed violators for up to two years. The decision saw shares in the South Korean firm Unidus Corp., one of the world's largest condom manufacturers, soar by the daily limit of 15 percent on the local stock exchange. "Even if adultery should be condemned as immoral, state power should not intervene in individuals' private lives," said …

  • US-led strikes on IS after group seizes 220 Christians
    US-led strikes on IS after group seizes 220 Christians

    The US-led coalition has carried out air strikes against the Islamic State group in northeastern Syria, where the jihadists have launched a new offensive and kidnapped 220 Assyrian Christians. The raids on Thursday struck areas around the town of Tal Tamr in Hasakeh province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, without giving information on possible casualties. The town remains under the control of Kurdish forces, but at least 10 surrounding villages have been seized by IS, along …

  • U.S. flies most advanced surveillance plane from Philippines

    By Manuel Mogato MANILA (Reuters) - The United States has begun flying its most advanced surveillance aircraft, the P-8A Poseidon, out of the Philippines for patrols over the South China Sea, the U.S. Navy said on Thursday, acknowledging the flights for the first time. The United States, the Philippines' oldest and closest ally, has promised to share "real time" information on what is happening in Philippine waters as China steps up its activities in the South China Sea. China claims most of …

  • National Geographic 'Afghan girl' in Pakistan papers probe
    National Geographic 'Afghan girl' in Pakistan papers probe

    Pakistani officials are investigating after the famous green-eyed "Afghan girl" immortalised in a 1985 National Geographic magazine cover was found living in the country on fraudulent identity papers. The haunting image of the then 12-year-old Sharbat Gula, taken in a refugee camp by photographer Steve McCurry, became the most famous cover image in the magazine's history. Now Pakistani officials say that Gula applied for a Pakistani identity card in the northwestern city of Peshawar in April …

  • Militants abduct more Christians, smash ancient artifacts
    Militants abduct more Christians, smash ancient artifacts

    BEIRUT (AP) — Islamic State militants seized more Christians from their homes in northeastern Syria in the past three days, bringing the total number abducted by the extremist group to over 220, activists said Thursday. …

  • ‘Noy angered by previous SAF failures to get Marwan’
    ‘Noy angered by previous SAF failures to get Marwan’

    Supt. Raymund Train, who led the SAF team that killed Marwan in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on Jan. 25, recounted in a sworn statement the meeting he and senior SAF officers had with Aquino in Malacañang on Nov. 30. Train said among the senior officers who attended the meeting were then PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima, SAF chief Director Getulio Napeñas, SAF deputy commander Chief Supt. Noli Taliño and intelligence group chief Senior Supt. Fernando Mendez. …

  • IS executioner 'Jihadi John' named as London graduate
    IS executioner 'Jihadi John' named as London graduate

    "Jihadi John", the masked Islamic State group militant believed responsible for beheading of at least five Western hostages, has been named as Kuwaiti-born computing graduate Mohammed Emwazi from London. "Jihadi John", nicknamed after Beatle John Lennon due to his British accent, is believed to be responsible for the murders of US journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning and American aid worker Abdul-Rahman Kassig. …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options