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 TIA 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.
- Anti-coagulant medications
- Second line treatments
. Clopidogrel (Plavix)
- If TIA is reoccurring despite Aspirin
. Aspirin + Dipyridamole