Aphasia is a warning sign that can appear up to a week before a stroke – it appears “suddenly”.

A stroke is a serious medical emergency that requires immediate attention. They are caused when blood flow to the brain is temporarily interrupted. In most cases, this is due to a blood clot, which is known as an ischemic stroke.

This is the most common type of stroke, accounting for about 85 percent of cases.

They can also be caused by a ruptured blood vessel, known as a hemorrhagic stroke.

The signs that someone has had a stroke are fairly well known, and the acronym FAST (Face, Hands, Speech, Time) is used to explain what should be done at that moment.

What is less known, however, is that warning signs that someone is at risk for a stroke can appear up to seven days before the event.

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In particular, someone may experience a transient ischemic attack (TIA), which is also known as a “mini-stroke”, to a “full” stroke.

A study published in the journal Neurology in 2005 found that 23 percent of patients with ischemic stroke had a previous TIA.

Of these patients, 43% had had a TIA seven days before the stroke.

While 17 percent had a TIA on the same day and 9 percent the day before.

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The study concluded, “In patients with ischemic stroke, TIAs most commonly occur in the hours and days immediately preceding the stroke.”

Thus, one common symptom of a TIA that may precede a stroke is aphasia.

This is the medical term for speech difficulties, including difficulty understanding what others are saying.

If you notice this symptom in someone, you should seek medical help as soon as possible.

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The abbreviation FAST, used for stroke, also applies to TIA.

Face – The face could droop to one side, the person could not smile, their mouth or eyes could droop.

Weapon – The person may not be able to raise and hold both arms in that position due to weakness or numbness in one arm.

Speech – Their speech may be slurred or distorted, or the person may not speak at all despite appearing to be awake; they may also have trouble understanding what you are saying to them.

Time – It’s time to call 999 immediately if you notice any of these signs or symptoms.

The NHS explains: “The symptoms on the FAST test identify most strokes and TIAs, but sometimes a TIA can cause a variety of symptoms that usually come on suddenly (usually within seconds).”

Other common signs of a TIA include:

  • Complete paralysis of one side of the body
  • Sudden loss of vision, blurred vision, or double vision
  • Dizziness
  • Being sick
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Problems with balance and coordination
  • Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia).

You should immediately call 999 for an ambulance if you or someone else has symptoms of a TIA or stroke.

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