Brain clot

Blood clots are gel-like gatherings of blood usually formed in veins or arteries due to an external injury to prevent blood loss. The clotting phenomenon is quite common, but it can prove fatal if it doesn't dissolve on its own.

The brain is considered to be the most vital organ in the human body, and as a result of which, it is more susceptible to injuries as well. The formation of blood clots in the brain can lead to severe health issues and, in extreme cases, can cause brain stroke. Blood clot in the brain occurs because of blood not flowing toward the brain. Our blood comprises several essential elements like cells, nutrients, gases, and protein that regularly flow through your bloodstream. 

 In case of any obstruction, blood tends to clot and form a thrombus which eventually breaks down and enters the circulation as a large stream of blood flow, forming an embolus. The formation of a thrombus and the flowing of the embolus to the brain can result in various symptoms in the body.

A brain stroke occurs in severe cases when the blood clot gets big enough to eventually hinder the blood supply to part of the brain resulting in the damage or even destruction of specific brain tissues.

Types of blood clots

  • Thrombosis: These are the stationary blood clots that don't move in the body.
  • Embolism: Blood clots tend to travel from their original position to other parts of the body.

Conditions resulting from the presence of blood clots in the body

  • • Deep Vein Thrombosis: Blood clot in the legs or arms
  • • Pulmonary embolism: Blood clot in the lungs
  • • Heart Attack: Blood clot in the heart
  • • Stroke: Blood clot in the brain
 

Symptoms

A blood clot in the brain will usually manifest as all the symptoms of a stroke. These are as follows:

  • • Slurring of speech
  • • Loss of balance or co-ordination
  • • Trouble walking
  • • Confusion and lack of responsiveness
  • • Numbness or weakness in the extremities
  • • Nausea and Vomiting
  • • Blurred or double vision
  • • Behavioural changes
 

Causes

Brain trauma: External injuries to the brain resulting from accidents cause damage to the blood vessels, thereby increasing the chances of blood clot formation.

Clot formation in the veins can be because of:

  • • Fracture in the bone
  • • Genetic and Auto-immune disorders
  • • Certain medications
  • • Hormone Replacement Therapy
 

Diagnosis

Doctors recommend a variety of tests to detect/diagnose the presence of blood clots. These are as follows:

  • • Blood tests
  • • CT scan
  • • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
 

Treatment

Various possible treatment options available are as follows:

Medications: These involve Anticoagulant medications and Thrombolytics. Commonly used anticoagulant drugs include warfarin, which helps in the prevention of another blood clot formation. Heparin is the most commonly prescribed Thrombolytic drug.

Surgery: Through surgical intervention, the blood clots can be removed easily. The surgical procedures involved are as follows:

  • Craniotomy: This procedure involves the removal of a certain area of the brain in order to drain out the blood clot, and later the removed area is placed back.
  • Burr hole drainage: In this procedure, holes are formed in the skull so as to drain out the blood and facilitate pressure relief.
 

Mechanical Thrombectomy: This is the interventional procedure performed to remove the blood clot by means of a catheter.

Risk Factors

These include:

  • • A person on Hormone Replacement Therapy
  • • Person having Coronavirus
  • • People with a family history of blood clots
 

Prevention

Blood clots can be prevented by the following things:

  • • Avoid smoking
  • • Regular exercise
  • • Maintenance of healthy weight
  • • Stay hydrated
  • • Control blood pressure levels