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Study shows mini-strokes may have long-term impact

For years, mini-stroke symptoms have been considered "transient" or "temporary" by the medical establishment, but a study suggests the condition may cause long-term health problems for patients in New Mexico and worldwide. The study, funded by the National Institute for Health Research School for Primary Care Research, was published in the European Journal of Neurology.

Researchers at the University of Birmingham in the U.K. designed a retrospective cohort study of 9,149 patients who suffered a transient ischemic attack, or TIA, and compared them with a control group of 46,511 people who had not. They found that TIA patients were 43 percent more likely to report fatigue, 45 percent more likely to show cognitive impairment and 26 percent more likely to show psychological impairment. In the U.K., around 46,000 people experience a first-time TIA each year, and there are approximately 510,000 people with a history of TIA living in the country.

TIAs happen when blood flow to the brain is disrupted, and patients often show stroke-like symptoms, including speech problems, visual disturbances and weakness or numbness in the muscles of the face, arms and legs. Typically, symptoms resolve within 24 hours. However, the authors of the study say their findings show TIA patients may be at increased risk for long-term health problems. They are calling for an update to the clinical guidelines for TIA.

A doctor's failure to diagnose a stroke or other medical conditions could cause serious health issues. New Mexico residents who have suffered a worsened condition due to failure to diagnose or a delayed diagnosis may have grounds to file a medical malpractice suit against the responsible doctor and/or hospital. An attorney could carefully review the details of the case and recommend the best course of legal action.

Source: Medical Xpress, "GP records indicate long term effects on patients of 'mini-strokes'," July 20, 2016

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