What are the signs that can be used to diagnose cerebral vasospasm and can it be cured at home?
- 1 Development mechanism
- 2 Why does angiospasm occur?
- 3 Symptoms
- 4 Effects
- 5 Diagnostics
- 6 Treatment
- 7 Prevention
Signs of angiospasm can appear at any age, including in children. Among the reasons distinguish hereditary factors, various chronic diseases, injuries. The treatment is complex: symptomatic (taking antispasmodics, sedatives) and etiological, aimed at eliminating the causes of spasm.
At the heart of spasm of cerebral vessels is a violation of neurohumoral regulation. Imbalance of mediators and dysfunction of calcium channels negatively affect the autonomic nervous system, which regulates vascular tone. During an attack, the arteries and smaller cerebral vessels are reduced, respectively, the blood flow slows down, and the brain experiences oxygen starvation. As a result, characteristic symptoms appear that may be reversible or irreversible.
In the first case, the spasm goes away without consequences, in the second – it is fraught with strokes, encephalopathy, aneurysm rupture (especially in the presence of blood clots, atherosclerotic plaques).
Prolonged angiospasm during pregnancy can lead to eclampsia, a severe form of preeclampsia.
Why does angiospasm occur?
A spasm of cerebral vessels can be caused by various reasons. Among them, the most frequent are the following conditions and pathologies:
- hypertension, atherosclerosis, heart failure;
- congenital anomalies of the vascular wall;
- systemic diseases of connective tissue, brain tumors;
- TBI, acute circulatory disorders – strokes;
- neurosis, migraine;
- spinal osteochondrosis in the neck;
- infections – encephalitis, meningitis;
- diseases of the liver, kidneys;
- birth injuries in newborns.
Alcohol abusers, smokers, and drug users are also at risk. Due to improper nutrition (overeating, consumption of large amounts of fat with fast-absorbing carbohydrates), lipid metabolism is disturbed, diabetes and obesity develop.
Angiospasms often occur in mentally unstable people, as well as as a result of psycho-emotional stress. The risk of vasospasm increases with a family history of cerebrovascular diseases, hypertension, and migraines.
Due to a sharp narrowing of the vascular lumen, blood flow to the brain decreases, and there are characteristic signs of a spasm of cerebral vessels. First, there is a diffuse “squeezing” headache, extending into the orbit. Often the attack begins after physical exertion, sleepless nights, stress. Meteor-dependent people react to weather like this. In addition to the painful sensations, dizziness and nausea appear (up to vomiting). Cognitive functions are inhibited, noise appears in the ears, before the eyes – “flies”.
The latter phenomenon is caused by impaired blood circulation in the ophthalmic artery associated with cerebral. Therefore, when angiospasm changes the tone of the eye muscles, deteriorating blood flow to the retina. In this regard, the patient cannot focus his eyesight, complains of darkening and fading of black dots before his eyes. In addition, the dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system adversely affects the state of the vessels of the whole organism: the pressure increases or decreases, sweating increases, the face becomes red, and perspiration increases.
Vascular spasm can be both a cause and a consequence of acute disorders of cerebral circulation – hemorrhagic stroke, aneurysm rupture. With intense pain, loss of consciousness, impaired coordination, speech should immediately seek medical help.
A long-term attack can lead to ischemic stroke with the death of brain tissue and disability. In children, prolonged angiospasms can further cause mental retardation, in pregnant women – eclampsia. This condition is considered the most severe form of preeclampsia, fraught with coma, pulmonary edema, and fetal death.
The primary diagnosis is made by a therapist or neurologist on the basis of clinical signs and their dynamics, blood pressure measurement, information about existing diseases. After first aid, a number of instrumental studies are conducted:
- MRI of the head and neck;
- contrast medium angiography;
- ultrasound diagnosis of cerebral vessels;
- CT angiography;
- doppler sonography.
During diagnosis, cerebral vasospasm differentiates from cerebrovascular pathologies similar in symptomatology. These include transient ischemic attack, strokes of both types, hydrocephalus (acutely developing during a tumor), and other liquorodynamic disorders.
A slight spasm can be stopped rather quickly at home. To remove the attack should first of all ensure the flow of fresh air. It is advisable to take a horizontal position, under the head to put a pillow.
It is recommended to drink a glass of heated water, keep your feet cool for a short time. Well relieves the symptoms of angiospasm self-massage. If the seizures recur frequently or their manifestations are strongly pronounced, it is necessary to consult a doctor and begin treatment.
Drug therapy in this case is complex. To relieve an attack, use light sedatives and antispasmodics. In the future, etiotropic treatment is prescribed, including drugs of various groups:
- Antidepressants (Amitriptyline, Azafen) are indicated for stabilization of the emotional state, since the attacks often occur on the background of increased anxiety, panic attacks.
- Nootropics Nootropil, Piracetam designed to stimulate cognitive functions, mental activity.
- Calcium channel blockers (Anipamil, Cinnarizine) have anti-ischemic, vasodilating action.
- Tablets that improve blood circulation – Vinpocetine, Cerebrolysin, Kavinton.
- Antispasmodics – Drotaverine or No-shpa.
- Sedatives – valerian, motherwort.
In the presence of atherosclerosis, infections, hypertension, in parallel, appropriate medical therapy is carried out.
To relieve spasm of cerebral vessels, you can use self-massage techniques. By pressing on some areas of the head, pain can be reduced, normal blood flow can be restored, pressure can be reduced. Massage is recommended to do at least 5 times a day to prevent recurrent attacks. It is necessary to work on special points rather intensively, massaging them in a circle until slight reddening.
The necessary places are localized at the top of the frontal tubercle, in the center of the hairline above the forehead, at the crown. It is also useful to massage the paired points in the region of the mastoid processes (under the ear lobe), near the inner corners of the eyes on the bridge of the nose, at the fracture of the eyebrow and under the occipital protuberances. It is advisable to knead and collar area to stimulate blood circulation. In the process of self-massage the eyes should be closed.
If there are no specific contraindications, it is necessary to perform a set of exercises daily to normalize blood flow. It restores muscle and vascular tone, helps to improve memory, coordination and does not give side effects, like pills. Gymnastics is especially useful in osteochondrosis of the cervical region, which is often the cause of angiospasm.
The standard set of movements includes:
- Head tilts left and right, as well as back and forth in a standing position. It is advisable to perform them with the maximum amplitude, but without pain.
- Turns of the head alternately to the sides. In this case, you should try to shoulder and chin were on the same line.
- The rise of the shoulders, followed by their retraction. Performed also standing, with his hands down.
- Rotation of the shoulders (back and forth).
You need to do, starting with a few minutes a day, gradually increasing the duration of the lesson. If pain or other symptoms of cerebral angiospasm occur, the training should be stopped. All movements are performed smoothly, without haste and sudden movements. In the process of doing the exercises, you need to breathe deeply – this is how an adequate supply of oxygen is provided. In addition, there is a special breathing exercises that help relieve vasospasm and normalize blood circulation.
In most cases, such a transient cerebrovascular disorder, such as angiospasm, does not require surgical treatment. Hypertension, atherosclerosis, systemic and infectious diseases, neurological disorders are treated conservatively with the use of drugs.
Indications for surgery are causes of cerebral spasms, such as vascular anomalies, hemorrhagic strokes, tumors of a different nature, trauma. Modern medicine has a variety of low-impact neuro-and angiosurgical methods that do not require long-term rehabilitation, do not give complications.
With the help of alternative medicine, it is also possible to normalize vascular tone, but it is unacceptable to replace the medicines prescribed by the doctor. All home methods of treatment of angiospasm can only supplement the drugs, and their use must be coordinated with a specialist. Recipes that are considered the most effective:
- A decoction of valerian roots, motherwort or thyme herb. Prepared in a water bath for half an hour from 2 or 3 tablespoons of raw materials and a liter of water. Drink after cooling and filtering instead of tea. The tool has a sedative (sedative) effect.
- Broth hips. It is used as a vitamin drink, rich in antioxidants, useful for blood vessels. A handful of fruits boil for several minutes in a liter of water, infused for several hours. Used as in the previous recipe.
- Garlic with milk. In the morning, four cloves clean, chop, pour warm milk, bring to a boil. Let it brew for half an hour, strain and take 2 tablespoons after meals. The next day, you need to prepare a fresh brew.
- As an emergency aid during an attack, attachment of ice cubes from the decoction of plantain or dandelion to the temples will help. Ice must be wrapped with a cloth.
Folk remedies can also treat some primary pathologies – the cause of angiospasm. There are many recipes for normalizing lipid metabolism, lowering blood pressure, and blood sugar levels. With hypertension or atherosclerosis, you can drink herbal infusions and decoctions, vitamin teas. The most effective means of recognized honey, garlic, lemons. They can be used both in various combinations and separately, added to drinks and food.
Angiospasm of cerebral vessels is a common transient violation of cerebral circulation. Most often, it is caused by an irresponsible attitude to their own health. Therefore, in most cases, this cerebrovascular disorder can be prevented if it is not a case of congenital anomalies, various neoplasms or accidental injuries. Maintaining a normal vascular tone will help a healthy lifestyle, above all – stopping smoking and other bad habits. Excessive doses of alcohol and nicotine have an extremely negative effect on blood circulation.
Be sure to move more, engage in physical exercise, walk. Physical activity has a positive effect not only on the muscles with the vessels, but also on the nervous system. So you can avoid the unpleasant effects of stress. All somatic, neurological, infectious diseases must be treated in a timely manner, preventing them from becoming chronic.
Since the main causes of cerebral angiospasm are hypertension with atherosclerosis, their prevention is also required. In addition to the above methods, you should adhere to the principles of healthy eating. Very often it is an unbalanced diet that leads to an excess of cholesterol in the blood, obesity, and arterial hypertension. There is a need often, gradually, minimizing the consumption of sugar and unhealthy fats. Useful complex carbohydrates, vegetables with fruits, meat, dairy products.