Mini Stroke Can Trigger PTSD: Study

Mini Stroke Can Trigger PTSD: Study

A mini stroke increases the risk of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), suggests a study carried out by researchers at University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany. A mild stroke, also known as transient ischemic attack (TIA) can increase the risk of PTSD. The research team found that nearly 29 percent of the individuals who suffered a mini stroke, were later found suffering PTSD.

The research team in Germany followed 108 people with median age 70 years, who suffered TIA. Out of the study group, 32 individuals were diagnosed with PTSD within three months. The research team concluded that the rate of PTSD after mini stroke was nearly 10 times higher compared to the risk among healthy individuals.

Study co-author Kathrin Utz from the department of neurology at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, said, "At the moment, a TIA is seen by doctors as a fairly benign disorder. We found one in three patients develop PTSD, which is perhaps better known as a problem found in survivors of war zones and natural disasters."

PTSD leads to flashbacks, nightmares, social isolation and increased level of worry. Five out of 1,000 people suffer TIA at some point of their life. Medical experts consider TIA as warning sign of stroke. They are caused by restricted blood supply to the brain. However, medical experts also suggest that TIA diagnosis is not always a sure thing. People should not worry about the condition but should take steps to reduce the risk of stroke.

The study has been published in October 2 edition of the journal Stroke.

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