- With Mayo Clinic neurologist
Jerry W. Swanson, M.D.read biographyclose window
Jerry W. Swanson, M.D.Jerry W. Swanson, M.D.
Dr. Jerry Swanson is a board-certified neurologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. He is also board certified in headache medicine and is a professor of neurology at College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic. He has a special interest in medical education.
Dr. Swanson, a Lacon, Ill., native, was appointed to the Mayo Clinic staff in 1982 and works in the Department of Neurology with more than 90 other physicians. He formerly chaired the department's Division of Headache and continues to work with headache subspecialists around the world. He has published and lectured widely on headache disorders. He also serves as assistant dean for assessment at Mayo Medical School.
"In a manner similar to the printing press, Internet technology enables the unprecedented ability to communicate with the global community about health information," Dr. Swanson says. "There is no doubt that the knowledgeable individual contributes greatly to his or her own health care, and now we can share information much more widely.
"There is much information already available about health care on the Internet. Unfortunately, much of it is not founded on sound principles. It is exciting to be a part of the web team and contribute to the creation of a reliable and timely health resource."
Dr. Swanson is the neurology editor for "Mayo Clinic Family Health Book" and has reviewed articles for "Mayo Clinic Health Letter" and "Mayo Clinic Women's HealthSource." He is also editor-in-chief of the "Mayo Clinic on Headache" book, published in 2004. In 2008 the magazine Women's Health named him one of America's Top Doctors for Women. In 2011 he received the Mayo Medical School Dean's Recognition Award for his contributions to undergraduate medical education.
Ministroke vs. regular stroke: What's the difference?
How is a "ministroke" different from a regular stroke?
from Jerry W. Swanson, M.D.
When people use the term "ministroke," what they're really often referring to is a transient ischemic attack (TIA) — a temporary interruption of blood flow to part of the brain, spinal cord or retina.
The symptoms of a TIA are similar to those of a stroke, but a TIA doesn't destroy brain cells or cause permanent disability. However, TIAs may recur, and each TIA increases the risk of a subsequent stroke.
If you suspect that you've had a TIA, seek immediate medical attention. You may need various diagnostic tests, such as a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan or a computerized tomography (CT) scan, to help determine what caused the TIA.
Depending on the underlying cause, you may need medication to prevent blood clots or a procedure to remove fatty deposits (plaques) from the arteries that supply blood to your brain (carotid endarterectomy).
- Furie KL, et al. Definition of transient ischemic attack. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 13, 2013.
- NINDS transient ischemic attack information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/tia/tia.htm. Accessed March 13, 2013.
- Easton DJ, et al. Definition and evaluation of transient ischemic attack: A scientific statement for healthcare professionals from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Stroke Council; Council on Cardiovascular Surgery and Anesthesia; Council on Cardiovascular Radiology and Intervention; Council on Cardiovascular Nursing; and the Interdisciplinary Council on Peripheral Vascular Disease. Stroke. 2009;40:2276.
- Ischemic stroke. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/neurologic_disorders/stroke_cva/ischemic_stroke.html?qt=TIA&sc=&alt=sh. Accessed March 13, 2013.
- Questions and answers about carotid endarterectomy. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/stroke/carotid_endarterectomy_backgrounder.htm. Accessed March 13, 2013.