Dr. Rohit Pai

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Reviewed by

Dr. Rohit Pai

Consultant - Neurology

Manipal Hospitals, Mangaluru

Blood Clot In Brain - Causes, Symptoms, Prevention

Reviewed by:

Dr. Rohit Pai

Posted On: Jul 18, 2023

blogs read 4 Min Read

Blood Clot, Symptoms and its Causes

The brain is the most important and delicate organ in the human body. A blood clot in the brain might cause major health risks such as brain attack or stroke. It results in disrupting the blood flow leading to the occurrence of ischemic stroke. 

To better comprehend this complex condition, let’s look at the causes, symptoms, and prevention, of brain clots. 

What is a Blood Clot in the Brain?

Blood clot in the brain is the result of blood that does not flow through the brain. The blood consists of important elements involving cells, nutrients, gases and protein that continuously circulates through the bloodstream resembling a complex highway system. Therefore, a blood clot in the brain is understood to be a collection of blood that has changed states, changing from liquid to semisolid or gel-like.

Now, blood tends to clot and form a thrombus if there is any restriction. Now, the thrombus may eventually rupture and then leak blood into the bloodstream, forming an embolus in the process. This development of the thrombus and the flow of the embolus to the brain can result in several unpleasant physical symptoms.

When a blood clot becomes large enough to finally cut off the blood flow to a portion of the brain, it causes a brain stroke that damages or kills particular brain tissues. 

Causes of Blood Clot in the Brain

There are two major causes of blood clots in the brain:

Cerebral Thrombosis

It occurs due to the development of plaque or atherosclerosis in the arteries of the brain. The vessel gets inflamed and gets smaller as a result. A blood clot may eventually grow and completely obstruct blood flow to the brain.

Cerebral Embolism

It is an internal blood clot or cholesterol plaque that develops elsewhere in the body before moving to the brain. Additionally, tiny pieces of the heart valve can separate, disperse through the blood, and lodge in an artery supplying the brain with blood.

Other possible causes of a blood clot in the brain include: 

  • A condition that affects or harms the region where the clot develops.

  • Lack of motion or immobility.

  • Bone fracture.

  • Genetic or hereditary conditions.

  • Obesity.

  • Autoimmune disorders.

  • Use of medications such as birth control or hormone therapy.

Risk Factors for Blood Clot in the Brain

The risk of developing a blood clot increases by different risk factors. The chance of blood clot development in brains increases due to factors such as recent hospital stay, mainly for the ones who were involved in long surgical procedures. Some other common factors include:

  • Age, mainly for those belonging to the age group of 65 years and above.

  • Long journeys, such as those required to sit for longer than 4 hours.

  • Bed rest or prolonged periods of inactivity.

  • Obesity.

  • Pregnancy.

  • Any family history of blood clots.

  • Smoking habits.

  • Diagnosed with cancer.

  • Use of some birth control pills.

Symptoms of Blood Clot in the Brain

A blood clot in the brain is also referred to as a stroke. These blood clots may occur anywhere in the body including the brain. Hypoxia may occur as a result, which is the condition that develops when blood is not able to carry oxygen to the brain. Hence, a disruption in the blood flow takes place which leads to the death of brain tissues. This condition may result in severe symptoms or even death. Here are some common symptoms of a blood clot in the brain that everyone should be aware of and seek quick medical attention for if someone exhibits them:

  • Paralysis.

  • Numbness or weakness in the face, arms, and legs, mainly on one side of the body.

  • Difficulty in speaking and understanding.

  • Severe headache.

  • Nausea and vomiting.

  • Seizures.

  • Dizziness.

  • Slurred speech.

  • Vision changes such as blurry vision or double vision.

  • Behavioural changes.

  • Loss of balance.

  • Difficulty in walking.

  • Confusion, disorientation, and lack of responsiveness.

Prevention of Blood Clots in the Brain

Blood clots in the brain can be prevented in several effective ways. Some of them are discussed below:

  • The healthcare professional may prescribe medication if the individual is at risk of developing a blood clot.

  • Exercising regularly is another effective way of preventing blood clots. Keeping oneself active by moving around to avoid clot formation in the body and travelling up to the brain.

  • It is recommended to wear loose-fitting clothes that do not restrict blood flow.

  • Quitting smoking habits is another effective method for avoiding the chances of blood clot formation in the brain.

  • Maintaining a healthy weight by adopting a healthy diet is recommended. Intake of food with high fibre content and low fat helps in the appropriate circulation of blood flow within the arteries and hence, reduces the risk of blood clot formation in the brain.

Consult neurologists in Mangalore if you require treatment and care for blood clots in the brain.

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