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Ataxia can be an “early” sign of a stroke – may appear up to a week before an attack

A stroke is a medical emergency in which the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off. This condition deprives your brain of much-needed oxygen and nutrients, leaving your body unable to perform basic functions. This means that time is of the essence. Fortunately, some symptoms can cause anxiety even before a stroke occurs.

The sudden nature of a stroke means that medical emergencies are often portrayed as unexpected attacks that come out of nowhere.

While this may be true, strokes sometimes trigger some red flags before a real emergency.

A study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Neurology says that warning signs of ischemic stroke can appear as early as “seven days” before emergency care.

Designated as the most common type, an ischemic stroke occurs when a blood clot blocks the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain.

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The study explains that 80 percent of strokes are ischemic and are often preceded by a “warning stroke” or mini-stroke.

Mini-strokes are used to describe a transient ischemic attack (TIA), a condition caused by a temporary interruption in blood supply to an area of ​​the brain.

A TIA presents with stroke-like symptoms but lasts only a few minutes and does not cause brain damage.

According to the study, one of the warning signs of a TIA is sudden ataxia.

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Ataxia describes poor muscle control that causes clumsy movements. This can cause difficulty walking and balance.

Other telltale signs that may occur with ataxia include sudden dizziness and loss of balance or coordination.

This warning sign could appear as early as a week before a full-blown medical emergency begins.

What did the study find?

The study involved 2416 people with ischemic stroke.

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Some 549 people had TIAs before full-blown medical emergencies.

In most cases, the first warning signs occurred seven days before the ischemic stroke.

Study author Peter M. Rothwell said: “We have known for a long time that TIAs are often a precursor to a serious stroke.

“This study shows that the timing of a TIA is critical, and the most effective treatments should be started within hours of a TIA to prevent a serious attack.”

How to Reduce Your Risk of Stroke

Living a healthy lifestyle is one of the best ways to reduce your chances of having a stroke, the NHS explains.

The Health Service recommends a low-fat, high-fiber diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

You should also control your salt intake, which means not eating more than six grams of the popular seasoning per day. Too much salt can raise blood pressure, which is a stepping stone to a stroke.

Other measures that may help include quitting smoking, cutting back on alcohol, and increasing physical activity.

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