Transient ischemic attacks (TIAs)
Similar to a stroke, a transient ischemic attack, also referred to as a TIA, or sometimes a “mini stroke,” can happen when the blood flow to a certain portion of your brain is blocked, but for a short time only. In that case, damage to the cells of the brain is not a permanent condition.
TIAs — like ischemic strokes — are quite often due to blood clots. And while TIAs are not considered complete strokes, they substantially increase the risk that you will have a stroke in the future. If you have a TIA, it’s vital for your physician to determine what caused it, so they can aid you in preventing a stroke.
Emergency care is required in the event of either a stroke or a TIA.
Diagnosing a TIA
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Like a stroke, the following symptoms can occur with a TIA:
- Paralysis (an inability to move) or numbness of the face, arms, or legs, especially on one side of the body
- Sudden weakness
- Trouble speaking or understanding speech
- Sudden and severe headache
- Trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Dizziness, trouble walking, loss of balance or coordination, and unexplained falls
- Problems breathing
- Loss of consciousness
They generally don’t last more than 1 or 2 hours, but can possibly last up to 24 hours.
Treatment for TIAs
TIAs are treated with medicines such as a tPA, medical procedures such as a carotid endarterectomy, and lifestyle changes.