Transient Ischemic Attack, also referred to as TIA, is a neurological dysfunction of the brain that can affect the spinal cord, retinal of the eye, or the Brain.
TIA are frequently referred to as “Mini-Strokes“. A TIA is an attack and not an infarct – which could result in cellular death. Infarction of the brain is also referred to as a Stroke.
The underlying cause of a TIA is very similar to a stroke. There is a disruption of cerebral blood flow. The main difference however is that a Transient Ischemic Attack lasts for only a few minutes – or up to 24 hours whereas a stroke is usually longer duration and more severe .
Having a TIA is a risk factor for a potential future stroke.
– Contralateral paralysis (opposite sided body paralysis)
– Sudden weakness of body
– Sudden numbness
– Decreased vision
– Loss of vision
– Aphasia – Difficulty speaking
– Slurred speech
– Loss or change in overall coordination
– An Embolus that occludes an artery in the brain.
– Blood clot from the heart that lodges in the brain
– Blockage is short lived
– Heart Disease
– Headaches (Migraine)
– Atrial Fibrillation
– High Cholesterol
– Diabetes Mellitus
– Age – 55 years old and older
– Family History
– African Americans have higher risk
– Tobacco smoking
The important aspect is to determine if this is a stroke or a TIA.
– Brain MRI
– Brain CT
1.) Avoid Smoking
2.) Decrease consumption of fats and cholesterol
3.) Decrease consumption of Alcohol
4.) Exercise regularly
– The primary concern of treatment is to treat the underlying cause.
– Prevention is also a key
– If Carotid Arteries are involved an Ultrasound can help determine the extent of problems.
– Removal of cholesterol plaques may be required by surgery.
1.) Anti-coagulant medications
2.) Second line treatments
3.) If TIA is reoccurring despite Aspirin
. Aspirin + Dipyridamole