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Syncope
Fainting

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What is Syncope?

Syncope is the temporary loss of consciousness due to a sudden decline in blood flow to the brain. It may be caused by an irregular cardiac rate or rhythm or by changes of blood volume or distribution. Syncope can occur in otherwise healthy people. The patient feels faint, dizzy, or lightheaded (presyncope), or loses consciousness (syncope).

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Is there any treatment?

Non-cardiac syncope is treated acutely by lying down with the legs elevated. Infrequent episodes of non-cardiac syncope usually do not require treatment.

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What is the prognosis?

Syncope is a dramatic event and can even be life-threatening if not treated appropriately. Generally, however, recovery is usually complete within minutes to hours.

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What research is being done?

The NINDS supports and conducts studies aimed at understanding conditions such as "neurocardiogenic syncope." The goals of these studies are to clarify the mechanisms of these conditions and to find ways to prevent and treat them.

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 Organizations

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHBLI)

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Fainting