Syncope is another word for passing out or fainting. While the event can happen at any age, it is more common in older adults and affects up to six percent of people over 75. Most episodes of fainting are benign, though it can be a symptom of an underlying medical condition.
The brain needs a constant supply of oxygen and glucose to function, and it gets this from an adequate blood supply. If anything interrupts the brain's blood flow, even for a few seconds, it stops working as it should, and the person passes out. Multiple things can disrupt blood flow. Syncope should not last more than a few minutes. If it does, the episode is more likely due to another condition, most commonly seizures.
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