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Does my mother show any symptoms of a stroke?

Q: In a recent article on warning signals, I read TIA (transient ischaemic attacks) are felt as a momentary loss of brain function that lasts less than 24 hours - a slurring of speech, a feeling of paralysis in an arm or leg, an episode of blindness in one eye, numbness in a limb or loss of consciousness for a few minutes. These were said as the symptoms of a mild stroke leading to a full-blown stroke. A month ago my mom said that she had numbness in her legs just like it would occur before a fit. She has had fits twice at a very young age (10y) as she was a premature baby and she has some nervous weakness. She is active now. Does she show any symptoms of a stroke? If so, what should be done? Can a stroke be prevented?

A:Transient numbness in the legs could be due to temporary deficiency in blood supply. This could arise from small blood clots or debris which originate from atherosclerotic plaques in the aorta and block the arteries going to the leg, or from small clots arising from the left side of the heart. The transient numbness in the leg may have no relation to the fits your mother had many years ago. In any case, she should be investigated to determine the status of blood supply to the legs and the possibility of thrombi in the heart. These investigations can be easily done.


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