What caused my husband to make a strange sucking noise and not even realize it?

Howrard asked...

my husband was siting down in one of the chairs on our porch. hishead lolled back and his eyes rolled up in their sockets and he made sucking sound with mouth nd tongue. his right hand was reaching for the front door. this lasted about5 seconds. he was not aware that anything happened nor was theirany pain.after 5 seconds he continued his story like nothing happened. what was that?

Expert Answer

Jytte Lokvig, PhD, coaches families and professional caregivers and designs life-enrichment programs and activities for patients with Alzheimer's disease and related dementia. Her workshops and seminars help caregivers and families create a healthy environment based on dignity and humor. She is the author of Alzheimer's A to Z: A Quick-Reference Guide.

This episode sounds like a TIA (transient ischemic attack,) also known as a mini-stroke. Unlike a regular stroke, a TIA does not cause brain tissue to die. It may last from a few minutes to several hours. It's caused by a temporary blockage of blood flow in the brain. After a TIA, the blockage breaks up quickly and dissolves.

It's usually impossible to diagnose a TIA after the fact, because the changes in the brain are too minimal, so if it happens again it's pointless to take husband to the hospital. It will only cause him unnecessary stress (and stress can cause a real stroke.)

You might want to inform his doctor, just to have it on record.

Transient ischemic attack http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001743/