Blood Clot in Brain: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment

By Dr. Atul Prasad in Centre For Neurosciences

Jan 02 , 2023 | 4 min read

A blood clot in the brain occurs when blood stops flowing properly in the brain. Any obstruction to blood flow causes a clot, and a thrombus is formed. The collection of blood appears like a gel. A blood clot in the brain is a serious condition, also known as a cerebral thrombosis, blockage in a blood vessel that restricts blood flow, potentially causing a stroke or other serious complications.

Blood clots can cause multiple health issues, including seizures, inability to move a body part, speech or sight issues, and more. Treatment options include trying to minimize stress, exercise, and regular medication to thin the blood and settle the clots.

Types of Blood Clots in Brain

There are two main types of blood clots in brain:

  • Thrombus

    It is a stationary blood clot that can obstruct blood flow. Doctors also call it thrombosis.

  • Embolus

    Such blood clots can move in the bloodstream. They are also known as embolisms and are more dangerous as they can travel to other parts of the body.

Causes of Blood Clot in the Brain

Some common causes of a blood clots in the brain include:

  • Long-term use of aspirin or other NSAIDs (no steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
  • Being obese or having high blood pressure
  • Having diabetes, chronic kidney disease, or a family history of clotting disorders
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Head and neck injuries
  • Bleeding between brain and skull
  • Hardening or narrowing of arteries
  • Travelling clots
  • Oral contraception

Symptoms of Blood Clot in Brain

There are several different symptoms of blood clot in the brain. Some of the symptoms are as follows:

  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Blurred vision
  • Problems with speech or swallowing
  • Headache
  • Weakness in the face, arm, or legs
  • Speech difficulty
  • Behavioral changes, including increased agitation
  • Trouble in understanding

Diagnose of Blood Clot in Brain

After the examination of symptoms of blood clot in the brain, a CT scan is advised. The size and location of the clot can be determined through imaging techniques, such as blood tests, CT (computed tomography) or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). If there is any suspicion that someone has a blood clot in the brain, they will likely be referred for further evaluation to a neurologist.

What are the Possible Complications and Risks Factors of Blood Clot in the Brain?

The risks and complications associated with a blood clot in the brain can vary depending on the individual's symptoms and health history. It may also increase the risk:

Treatments of Blood Clots in the Brain

There is no definitive blood clot in brain treatment, but various treatments may be tried depending on the individual's symptoms and health history. Blood clot in the brain treatment options may include:

  • Reducing the amount of stress in the patient’s life
  • Administering medications to thin the blood and help prevent further clotting
  • Undergoing surgery to remove or cut off the obstruction that is causing the problem
  • Using a device called Auto
  • Using an injector that delivers specific doses of drugs directly into a vein to break up and dissolve large clots

Can Blood Clots be Prevented or Avoided?

Currently, there is no reliable way to prevent or avoid blood clots in the brain, but taking preventive measures such as reducing stress levels and getting regular exercise can help decrease the chances of developing it. Here are a few other ways to prevent blood clots:

  • Taking anti-clotting drugs
  • Avoiding flying
  • Resting
  • Wearing the right clothes
  • Exercising
  • Drinking plenty of liquids

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are Blood Clots in the Brain serious?

Blood clots in the brain can be a serious medical emergency and can lead to slurred speech, difficulty understanding, heart attack, and other health complications. They can occur due to reasons such as trauma, stroke, or other health conditions. Blood clot treatment in the brain may include medication, surgery, or other interventions. With early diagnosis and treatment, most people with blood clots in the brain recover fully.

2. Can Brain Blood Clots be cured?

While there is no cure for brain blood clots, proper exercise, diet, and medicines can help relieve symptoms and improve quality of life. People with brain clots are advised to take ample rest, not get stressed, and may be suggested to consume blood thinners by doctors.

3. Can you recover from a Blood Clot in the brain?

Fortunately, most cases of cerebral thrombosis can be successfully treated with medication and lifestyle changes. Though in some cases, surgery may also be required. With early diagnosis and appropriate treatment, most people who suffer from a blood clot in the brain make a full recovery.

4. Can stress cause Blood Clots?

Yes, stress, especially if it is severe and chronic, can cause blood clots in the legs, arms, lungs, and even the brain. One of the primary treatments and precautions for blood clots includes taking less stress.

5. When should I contact emergency care?

If someone is experiencing any of the following symptoms of a blood clot in the brain, it is important to seek emergency care for a blood clot:

  • Sudden pain, swelling, or redness in one arm or leg
  • Chest pain and shortness of breath
  • Coughing up blood
  • Unexplained headache, especially if accompanied by fever, seizures, or vomiting
  • Slurred speech or weakness on one side of the body.

6. Can you die from a brain stroke?

A brain stroke, or cerebrovascular accident (CVA), is a serious medical emergency in which the blood supply to the brain is interrupted. When this happens, brain cells begin to die. A brain stroke can lead to death, permanent disability, or coma. But with early diagnosis and blood clot treatment, many people who have a brain stroke recover completely.

7. What are the types of questions that you should ask your doctor?

Here are some of the most important questions to ask about blood clots:

  • Are blood clots treatable?
  • Can blood clots be treated with medication?
  • What are the symptoms of blood clot?
  • What are the treatments for a blood clot?
  • How do you remove the blood clot in the brain?
  • What is the risk of having a blood clot?
  • Is blood clot can cause a brain stroke and cell death?
  • What are the reasons blood clot in the brain occurs?
  • Are blood clots can lead to severe brain damage?
  • Is blood vessel damage leading causes of formation of a blood clot?