Mild Stroke: Causes & Prognosis

Instructor: Adrianne Baron

Adrianne has taught high school and college biology and has a master's degree in cancer biology.

This lesson will cover the definition of a mild stroke and then go into detail about how mild strokes occur in the brain. We will also discuss the prognosis for a mild stroke.

Mild Stroke

Do you like the flavor of hot sauce, but maybe not the full burn of it? If so, you probably opt to get mild or medium hot sauce rather than hot hot sauce. This gives you some aspects of hot sauce, but it isn't as spicy and the burning sensation doesn't last as long in your mouth.

There is a condition that can occur in the body that has different strengths as well. A stroke happens when there is a loss of oxygenated blood being supplied to the brain. Like hot sauce, strokes come in different strengths. Massive strokes are ones that affect larger portions of the brain and cause brain tissue death and damage. A mild stroke is a temporary stroke that doesn't last very long and there isn't any permanent damage to the brain. Let's take a closer look at mild strokes.

Causes

Mild strokes happen as a result of something briefly blocking one of the arteries providing oxygenated blood to a small portion of the brain. The blockage could be caused by a stationary blood clot that forms within the artery, known as a thrombus. The thrombus will eventually dissolve or move and no longer block the artery.

Mild strokes may be caused by a thrombus or embolus that gets stuck
Diagram showing the cause of a mild stroke

The other cause of a mild stroke comes from a blood clot that forms elsewhere in the body and enters the bloodstream. This is known as an embolus. The embolus will flow to the brain and get stuck in one of the arteries of the brain. The embolus will only be stuck for a few minutes or so, just like with the thrombus. Once the embolus moves on, it no longer blocks blood flow.

Prognosis

Mild strokes only cause a small portion of the brain to be without oxygen for a very short period of time. The impact from this is negligible and doesn't cause any permanent damage in the brain. This leads to a very good prognosis for recovering from a mild stroke. The lack of permanent damage to the brain means that the signs and symptoms that come with a stroke won't last very long and the body will return to normal. This will usually happen within a matter of minutes or hours, but for sure within a day.

Many people who suffer mild strokes recover by the time they realize something has happened. There are even instances when the stroke is so mild that people miss the fact that they had one. They recover quickly because the stroke was so mild.

However, the prognosis includes the possibility that another mild stroke or full blown stroke may occur. This alters the positive prognosis somewhat, because there is now a higher probability of having a full blown stroke, which is much harder to recover from.

Lesson Summary

Here is a quick recap of this lesson. A stroke happens when there is a loss of oxygenated blood being supplied to the brain. Massive strokes are strokes that affect larger portions of the brain and cause brain tissue death and damage. Mild strokes are temporary strokes that don't last very long and there isn't any permanent damage to the brain.

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