Sudden delirium can appear ‘up to a week’ before a stroke – early sign

Stroke: Doctor explains the signs and symptoms of a stroke

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Strokes are often silent until the very moment when they strike. However, the medical emergencies sometimes start spurring on red flag symptoms in the days leading up to the event. Sudden delirium is one of the tell-tale signs of this process.

Strokes strike every five minutes in the UK, making symptom awareness front and centre.

Cardiac Screen explains that some people can experience red flag signs alerting of a future stroke “several days before” the full-blown medical emergency.

Furthermore, around 43 percent of stroke patients experience mini-stroke symptoms “up to a week before” a major stroke, according to the health portal.

Mini strokes are a common term used to describe a transient ischaemic attack (TIA). 

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A transient ischaemic attack is triggered by a temporary disruption in the blood supply to a part of your brain.

This health problem shows symptoms similar to a stroke but it only lasts a few minutes and doesn’t cause a brain injury.

One of the common signs that can point to TIA is sudden delirium, according to a study, published in the journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Sudden delirium, or confusion, could leave you unable to think or speak clearly.

The NHS explains you might also feel disorientated and struggle to pay attention or remember things.

The health service advises: “Try asking the person their name, their age and today’s date. 

“If they seem unsure or cannot answer you, they probably need medical help.”

This sudden warning sign can appear as early as a week before the full-blown medical emergency occurs.

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The research team discovered the “early” signs by examining 2,416 participants, who suffered from an ischaemic stroke.

In 549 patients, TIAs appeared before the actual emergency and occurred within the week leading to a stroke in most cases.

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

“This study indicates that the timing of a TIA is critical, and the most effective treatments should be initiated within hours of a TIA in order to prevent a major attack.”

The Cardiac Screen adds: “Don’t ignore the early warning signs. Get help right away as a more serious stroke could be hours or days away.”

How to prevent a stroke

From a healthy diet to exercise, lifestyle tweaks can be very effective at reducing your risk of the medical emergency.

The NHS recommends a low-fat, high-fibre diet, that is rich in fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grains. 

You should also keep an eye on your salt intake and ensure you don’t have more than six grams a day. The popular seasoning is a major cause of blood pressure, which is a stepping stone to strokes.

Furthermore, quitting smoking, cutting back on alcohol and picking up exercise could also help.

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