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Discovering the cause of a stroke or TIA in young people

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Hi Doctor,

I'm 22 and recently experienced stroke-like symptoms which the doctors later diagnosed as a TIA. The symptoms affected the right side of my body (slurred speech, numbness in right arm and legs). Unusually, I experienced 12 episodes of TIA each lasting between 8-12 minutes long within a 6-hour period. I generally recovered without any neurological deficits at the end of every episode. The TIA episodes finally stopped after taking a dose of aspirin. Initial CT scans and Angiogram were fine, however MRI scans did show an infarction in my left putamen. I was kept under observation for 5 days during which a series of tests were conducted in a bid to identify the cause. Tests for Vasculities, Lupus, Protein S and Protein C, ECG etc/ were carried out and they all checked out. In short the doctors are finding a hard time finding a cause. Can you please help me? Does the fact that a risk factor can't be found be a good thing? Giving my age I'm finding this very hard to take. Please

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replied January 28th, 2010
Stroke Answer A9580

Welcome to the ehealthforum and I am really glad to help you out. In young patients who get a stroke or a TIA, usually an intensive search is made to look for a risk factor or a cause of the stroke so that an attempt can be made to treat the same. It’s similar to hypertension.

In hypertension in young people, a cause is usually looked for but one may not always be able to find it.

Similarly, in young TIA’s a diligent search is done but the cause may not be found out and the treatment is basically by giving blood thinners like clopidogrel or aspirin and usually statins are given to keep the cholesterol in check. I sincerely hope that helps. Take care.

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