The MRI revealed evidence of "several" old areas of Lacunar strokes. These are also known as Lacunar infarcts (infarctions). Mom had no classic symptoms of stroke that she can recall, so it's difficult to know when those tiny clots formed. Lacunar strokes can also be described as "subcortical strokes." High blood pressure is definitely a risk factor, along with diabetes, and atherosclerosis.
Lacunar strokes are a type of ischemic stroke. They occur deep in the brain in the smallest of the brain's blood vessels. When thinking of the circulatory system as a tree with roots and branches, the large vessels taper to smaller ones that branch out all over the body. Lacunar infarcts occur in blood vessels that would be like the tiny twigs on the branch of a tree.
A few years ago there was a push to change the term "stroke" to "brain attack." The new term never really caught on in places that I've lived and worked. But I have seen an increase in the number of hospitals that have become certified stroke centers.. The American Stroke Association cautions that "time lost is brain lost." Recognizing the signs of stroke and seeking care immediately are essential to ensure the best possible outcome.
Fortunately, Mom is doing much better and has no lingering effects from her recent health emergency. Her medications were tweaked to give her better control over her blood pressure and her daily aspirin dosage was increased. She’s recently started attending the Sunday auctions again, and that’s kind of how we gauge wellness in our family.
For good information about Lacunar strokes, these reputable sites are recommended:
Know symptoms of a Stroke and act Face Arms SpeechTime
Face--weakness on one side of the face can be noted by a smile that "droops" on one side.
Arms--the inability to hold both arms straight out to the side (level with the shoulders) without one of them drifting downward is a sign of concern.
Speech--slurred speech or the inability to accurately repeat a sentence are symptoms of concern
Time--Make a note of the time when symptoms begin & provide that information to your healthcare professionals at the hospital. Strokes caused by clots can be treated with a strong clot-busting drug--but only if the symptoms started less than 3 hours before.
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