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Diabetes Symptoms What does a “mini-stroke” look like? Medical experts weigh in on Trump’s mysterious hospital visit

Diabetes Symptoms What does a “mini-stroke” look like? Medical experts weigh in on Trump’s mysterious hospital visitDiabetes Symptoms


US President Donald Trump leaves after chatting with the press in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on August 3, 2020. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP through Getty Images)

Diabetes Symptoms What even is a mini-stroke, and is it the type of factor that you would cowl up? Here’s what this all means



Matthew Rozsa
September 1, 2020 11:04PM (UTC)
This story, like so many others involving Trump, begins with a tweet.

On Tuesday, Trump posted on Twitter that “they are trying to say that your favorite President, me, went to Walter Reed Medical Center, having suffered a series of mini-strokes.” He denounced this supposed report as “FAKE NEWS” and insinuated that his opponent in the upcoming election, Democratic nominee Joe Biden, may truly be the one with the neurological well being points.

This tweet raised eyebrows as a result of, earlier than it was posted, the concept Trump had had a “mini-stroke” was not reported by anybody in the mainstream media. A White House aide later explained that Trump had been responding to a Monday tweet by Joe Lockhart, who had served as press secretary to President Bill Clinton. This solely raised extra questions, nevertheless, since Lockhart had merely requested, “Did [Donald] Trump have a stroke which he is hiding from the American public?” Lockhart by no means stated something about “a series of mini-strokes”; nor did Michael S. Schmidt, a New York Times reporter whose upcoming guide mentions that Trump made a shock visit in November to Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

Schmidt’s guide did declare, nevertheless, that Vice President Mike Pence was on “standby” to quickly assume the workplace of the presidency in case Trump wanted a process that requires anesthetic. The White House claims that the president was solely having a routine checkup, which might not account for the reported requirement that Pence be on standby in the occasion that he Trump wanted to be anesthetized — as check-ups typically don’t require anesthetic.

“People who’ve worked at the White House say the White House medical office is so well-equipped that White House medical staff can handle on-site all but the most serious incidents without a president ever having to be rushed off campus from the White House to the hospital,” MSNBC host Rachel Maddow pointed out on Tuesday. “But rushed he was. What was that all about?”

(By distinction: When President George W. Bush had a colonoscopy in 2002, Vice President Dick Cheney temporarily assumed office as a result of Bush was administered anesthetic. The Bush administration was open about this.)

While there is no such thing as a smoking gun that will point out the Trump administration is masking up that he had a stroke, such an occasion will surely be on par for an administration with a tenuous grasp on truth. In any case, the dearth of direct proof hasn’t stopped a raft of public hypothesis. Salon spoke to medical experts about what a “mini-stroke” actually is, what it does, and whether or not such hypothesis was baseless or not.

“We do not use the term ‘mini-stroke’ for a variety of reasons,” Dr. Larry Goldstein, chairman of the neurology division on the University of Kentucky and co-director of the Kentucky Neuroscience Institute and UK Neuroscience Research Priority Area, advised Salon by e-mail. “The medical term is TIA — transient ischemic attack. These are episodes in which the blood supply to a portion of the brain is briefly interrupted causing the same symptoms as a stroke that resolve, generally within minutes and with no evidence of relevant permanent injury on brain imaging such as an MRI or CT scan.”

He added, “If there is evidence of damage on imaging, the same event is classified as a stroke.”

Dr. David Paydarfar, chair of the Department of Neurology on the Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin, advised Salon in writing that mini-strokes are continuously related to “poorly controlled risk factors like hypertension, diabetes [et cetera], and in such cases often occurs in clusters.” He identified that the bodily signs of a mini-stroke embrace “slurred speech, imbalance, weakness or clumsiness of one or more limb(s), loss of cognitive function” and the cognitive signs embrace “problems with comprehension and/or expression of speech, loss of recall, loss of other intellectual function like calculation, visuo-spatial orientation.”

If Trump did endure such a transient ischemic assault, it will most likely not be tough for him to hide that from the general public: As Dr. Russell Medford, a former affiliate professor of drugs, director of molecular cardiology and adjunct medical professor of drugs on the Emory University School of Medicine, advised Salon by e-mail, “By definition, TIAs are transient with full resolution of any presenting symptoms.” At the identical time, he defined that mini-strokes are “a serious and concerning medical diagnosis that places the patient at increased risk for a future ischemic stroke.”

Previous presidents have been disabled or severely affected by strokes, and even hid them from the general public. When Woodrow Wilson had a stroke in 1919, he was unable to successfully serve for the remaining year-and-a-half of his second time period. Less than three a long time later, Franklin Roosevelt had a stroke proper in the beginning of his fourth time period — and died.

These presidential strokes occurred at essential junctures in American historical past. When Wilson had his stroke, America had simply ended World War I, was grappling with an influenza epidemic and was wrestling with constitutional amendments to ban alcohol and grant girls the right to vote. When Roosevelt had his stroke, America was wrapping up World War II and transitioning from the Great Depression and war-era economies to what the nation hoped can be a affluent future.

Although Trump has beforehand claimed that Joe Biden, a former vice chairman, is just not mentally match to be president, it’s unclear if his current tweet was referencing Biden’s personal historical past of neurological illnesses. During his first presidential marketing campaign in 1988, Biden suffered two aneurysms.


Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a workers author for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.
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