0842 GMT August 22, 2019
Almost one-third of patients who suffered a mini-stroke, known as a transient ischemic attack (TIA), developed symptoms of PTSD, including depression, anxiety and reduced quality of life, the researchers said.
"At the moment, a TIA is seen by doctors as a fairly benign disorder," said study co-author Kathrin Utz, a researcher in the department of neurology at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany, Health Day reported.
However, Utz and colleagues found that from a patient's perspective, a TIA is not so benign.
"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," Utz said.
PTSD can develop when a person experiences a frightening event that poses a serious threat, she explained. "It leads the person to experience symptoms such as worry, nightmares, flashbacks and social isolation," she said.
The findings are based on questionnaires completed by 108 study volunteers three months after having a TIA. The responses also revealed that about 14 percent had significantly reduced mental quality of life after their mini-stroke, and 6.5 percent had reduced physical quality of life.
TIA is a fairly common neurological condition. Five out of 1,000 people will experience one at some point during their life, Utz said. Like stroke, transient ischemic attacks are caused by restricted blood supply to the brain.