Spasm of cerebral vessels is a pathology included in the group of acute circulatory failure. The state of vasospasm is regarded as a transient, short-term, paroxysmal violation of the supply of nutrition to the brain.
Severe violations in this case does not occur. But it is important that changes in muscle tone contribute over time to the development of another pathology – stroke. Therefore, the attitude towards manifestations of angiospasm at any age should be very serious. Early treatment will prevent brain ischemia.
Pathology is more common among people of working age (30 – 45 years old), men are more likely to suffer. In a child, bouts of cerebral insufficiency can be the consequences of birth trauma, congenital vascular pathology, hormonal adjustment in adolescence.
What happens in the vessels?
When we speak of the spastic condition of the vessels, it is necessary to clarify what small arterial branches (capillaries, arterioles) are meant. They have a smooth muscle wall, which is reduced by all laws:
- the arrival of a pulse through nerve fibers or with the help of special hormonal substances in the blood;
- replacement of the necessary electrolyte ions (potassium, sodium, calcium), changing the charge of the cell membrane;
- shortening of muscle fibers (contraction).
Violations occur at one or all stages. We can not exclude from the attention that the spasm of the vessels of the head can be caused reflexively in response to cold (walking in the winter without a cap), pain in the internal organs, blood supply disturbance at the level of the neck vessels (carotid, vertebral arteries).
Why is spasm happening?
The main cause of spasm of cerebral vessels is considered to be improper regulation of the vegetative nervous system. This is most clearly manifested by symptoms of angiospasm on the background of vascular dystonia (VVD), a disease of dyscirculatory disorders. With the IRR, spastic contractions are replaced by a sharp expansion (paresis) of the arteries.
There are many diseases that contribute to short-term reduction of arteries:
- damage to cerebral vessels by atherosclerotic plaques, blood clots, the presence of aneurysmal expansion;
- traumatic injuries of the skull;
- benign and malignant tumors of the brain, pituitary;
- angina attacks;
- changes in the artery wall with vasculitis, collagenosis;
- endocrine disorders in thyrotoxicosis, obesity, diabetes;
- diseases of the meninges (arachnoiditis, meningitis).
What triggers seizures?
It has been established that direct “provocateurs” of dyscirculatory disorders of the brain can be:
- poisoning with toxic substances (salts of heavy metals, carbon disulphide, nicotine during prolonged stay in a smoky room and smoking, drugs);
- intense mental work, overwork;
- strong emotions, stressful situations in life;
- disturbed sleep, night work;
- atmospheric changes (magnetic storms, pressure drops, weather changes);
- abuse of tonic drinks (strong tea, coffee, tonic);
- lack of fluid in the body – dehydration with severe sweating, loss of vomiting and diarrhea.
Predisposition to an impaired vascular reaction is inherited in families where there are hypertensive patients, cases of stroke, acute heart attack.
Neurological practice allows you to isolate the symptoms of short-term vasospasm (narrowing of the diameter of small arteries):
- headache – in the neck, temples, temporo-parietal zone;
- dizziness (vestibular type of paroxysm) – with a sensation of the rotation of objects, an imbalance, a shaky gait, “unsteady” soil under the feet;
- vision change – darkening in the eyes, feeling of “luminous points”, “veil”, loss of visual fields (optical paroxysm);
- short-term loss of orientation and consciousness;
- paroxysmal numbness, weakness, crawling feeling in the limbs;
- temporary speech disorder;
- blood rushes to the head, redness of the face, a feeling of pulsation in the vessels of the head and neck, tinnitus, increased blood pressure;
- sleep disturbance;
- bouts of pain in the heart, the feeling of fading, palpitations;
- transient blanching and cooling of the hands and feet.
Types of spasm by severity
According to the severity of vascular spastic crises are divided into 3 groups:
- angiodystonic – the mildest form, all neurological symptoms are mild, the condition is quickly restored;
- angio-dystrophic – after a crisis, transient all-brain symptoms in the form of asthenia (weakness, dizziness) remain, vascular changes in the artery wall reach the dystrophy stage;
- cerebral necrotic – a short-term loss of consciousness occurs, slight disruption of motor activity, speech, vision, vomiting, headache, less often patients complain that “the head is poured with lead”, feel tinnitus, eyelid swelling, blue lips are determined.
With a severe course in the substance of the brain microkista or lacunae are formed.
Depending on the prevalence of damage, vascular spasms are divided into:
- generalized (common) – characteristic of hypertension, increased blood viscosity, metabolic changes in the brain, typical links with symptoms of heart disease (coronary-cerebral), liver and pancreas (hepatocerebral), kidney (renal-cerebral);
- regional (local) – if a specific area of spastic vascular contraction is detected during diagnosis.
For example, spastic crises caused by stenosis of the subclavian and vertebral arteries are accompanied by impaired cerebral and local blood supply (fainting, weakness, a change in balance, pallor, paresthesia, decreased pulsation of the radial artery, cold feet and hands).
For coronary cerebral spasms are characteristic:
- simultaneous development of hypoxia in the brain and heart;
- manifestations of secondary cardiac disorders (strokes, arrhythmia).
During hepatocerebral crises, patients complain of pain in the right hypochondrium, nausea, vomiting, bloating.
Renal cerebral pathology causes severe headache, mild meningeal symptoms, and urinary impairment.
Accurate diagnosis is important for the correct choice of drugs in the rational treatment of the patient’s condition.
In case of mild disease, the diagnosis is made based on the exclusion of other most severe brain diseases, because changes in the vessels after spontaneous removal of the spasm cannot be detected.
Neurologists and angiosurgeons for examination use:
- duplex scanning of intracerebral and brachiocephalic branches of cerebral arteries; it is possible to record the effects of frequent vascular spasms in their moderately severe course;
- MRI of vessels;
- computed tomography of the brain.
If there is no possibility in the listed methods, contrast radiography is performed.
What should be changed
Before prescribing treatment, the doctor will require the patient to change their lifestyle and abandon the harmful habits:
- you must stop smoking, drinking alcohol;
- be sure to arrange outdoor recreation, evening walks;
- do morning gymnastic exercises, try to master yoga and auto-suggestion techniques;
- in the diet do not allow long breaks, follow the drink of ordinary water (up to 2 liters per day), stop the abuse of strong coffee and tea, replace them with herbal tea with mint and melissa, dried fruit compote;
- In the diet, cereals (from cereals, not flakes), raw fruits and vegetables, seafood (fish, plants), lean meat, dairy products, and hard cheeses are necessary to restore the vascular wall tone. Restrict the need to spicy snacks, fried and fatty meats, cakes, soda.
Treatment of cerebral arterial spasm
Methods of treatment of vascular spasm are associated with the main causes of pathology, diseases leading to its occurrence.
- In the treatment of hypertension and atherosclerosis, antihypertensive drugs and drugs to reduce the low molecular weight cholesterol fraction (statins) are important.
- Tablets from the group of calcium antagonists (Corinfar, Adalat) are used to relieve vasospasm.
- For relief of pain with severe headaches are used: Eufillin, Papaverin, No-spa, Papazol. The doctor will recommend the use in the form of injection or oral.
- Normalize the reaction of blood vessels sedatives such as tincture of motherwort, valerian or more powerful drugs (Seduxen, Relanium).
- A group of nootropics (Nootropil, Piracetam) is used to influence the metabolic processes in the brain tissue, and Trental is prescribed.
- Cavinton, Cerebrolysin, Actovegin possess vasotonic properties.
- According to the testimony of the patient, the recommendations of drugs to improve the adaptive response to the environment (tinctures of aralia, ginseng, eleutherococcus, lemongrass) are possible.
- Need multivitamins with trace elements or nicotinic acid alone, vitamin E, group B.
Patients are recommended physiotherapeutic methods of treatment, massage. People get a good and lasting effect after staying at resorts. Especially if the climate zone is used, natural stimulants in baths and mud applications, mineral waters.
How to remove an attack at home?
For quick removal of the attack at home apply distracting reflex procedures:
- warm herbal tea with honey;
- washing with cold water or ice;
- cold foot baths for 10 minutes;
- massage in the temporal region, in the neck area of the cervical spine.
- rub the forehead and temples with an asterisk ointment;
- take 20 drops of Corvalol or valerian tincture;
- Chew and swallow one tablet of Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Spazgan.
In the case of repeated attacks, you should consult a doctor and undergo a full examination. This is the only way to find out which treatment can really help.
Folk recipes are applicable in cases of vasospastic symptoms. Recommendations do not differ on the mechanism of action with medical installations.
The famous recipe from garlic, honey and lemons is undoubtedly shown to everyone, because it has a positive effect on the vessels, immunity and mood of the patient.
Rosemary fruits, nettle leaves, mint, lemon balm, currants, lingonberries are shown for herbal tea.
Diagnosis and treatment of cerebral artery spasm will help prevent serious consequences in the form of early stroke, thromboembolism and cerebral infarction. In children, this pathology causes a delay in general and mental development, persistent migraine attacks, loss of vision and hearing. Timely treatment to the doctor allows you to avoid irreparable damage to health.