brainarteriesTransient 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.

Symptoms

  • Contralateral paralysis  (opposite sided body paralysis)
  • Sudden weakness of body
  • Sudden numbness
  • Decreased vision
  • Loss of vision
  • Aphasia  –  Difficulty speaking
  • Slurred speech
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Loss or change in overall coordination

 

Causes

  • An Embolus that occludes an artery in the brain.
  • Blood clot from the heart that lodges in the brain
  • Blockage is short lived

 

Transient-Ischemic-AttackRisk Factors

Co-morbid Diseases

General

  • Age – 55 years old and older
  • Family History
  • Males
  • African Americans have higher risk
  • Tobacco smoking

 

Diagnosis

The important aspect is to determine if this is a stroke or a TIA.

  • Ultrasound
  • Brain MRI
  • Brain CT
  • EKG

 

Prevention

1.)  Avoid Smoking
2.)  Decrease consumption of fats and cholesterol
3.)  Decrease consumption of Alcohol
4.)  Exercise regularly

 

Treatment

  • The primary concern of treatment is to treat the underlying cause.
  • Prevention is also a key

Surgery

  • If Carotid Arteries are involved an Ultrasound can help determine the extent of problems.
  • Removal of cholesterol plaques may be required by surgery.

stroke-2Medications

  • Anti-coagulant medications

Heparin

Warfarin

Aspirin

  • Second line treatments

. Clopidogrel  (Plavix)

Ticlopidine

  • If TIA is reoccurring despite Aspirin

Aspirin + Dipyridamole

 

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