Mini-strokes can lead to PTSD
People who experience “mini-strokes” may have an increased risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other psychiatric disorders, according to a new study.
Mini-strokes, medically known as transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), are brief episodes of neurological dysfunction where the flow of blood to the brain is temporarily disrupted. They are often a precursor to a major stroke, characterized by a much longer period of time when blood flow stops.
In the study, German and British scientists recruited 108 TIA patients who had no previous history of stroke and asked them to complete questionnaires regarding their mental health.
The researchers found that about 14 percent of the study’s participants demonstrated signs of a reduced mental quality of life, and about 30 percent reported having symptoms of PTSD. The scientists also found that those who had PTSD symptoms were also more likely to have symptoms of depression and anxiety and have a lower overall quality of life, when compared to those with no signs of PTSD.
The study’s findings, published in the journal Stroke, suggest that the fear of mini-strokes potentially leading to a major stroke may contribute to developing PTSD and other mental health and psychiatric disorders.
Researchers said that mini-stroke patients could benefit from enrolling in risk counseling and finding ways to reduce their anxiety about having a major stroke.