A Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) is sometimes referred to as a "mini stroke" or a "warning sign" of an impending stroke. It is caused by a disruption of blood supply to a particular area of the brain by a blood clot in your brain or neck.
Your blood carries oxygen to the brain. Therefore, if the blood supply is disrupted by a clot, it could result in death of the brain (nerve) cells in that area.
A TIA is categorized as a mini stroke because the symptoms lasts less than 24 hours. Most TIAs last less than 5 minutes. If the symptoms lasts longer than 24 hours it is referred to as a Cardiovascular Accident (CVA) or stroke. Some people experience a TIA and don't even know it.
It's important to recognize the symptoms because a mini stroke (TIA) usually precedes a stroke which causes permanent damage to the brain/nerve cells.
Temporary Symptoms of a TIA (less than 24 hours)
- Weakness on one side of the body (hemiparesis)
- Slurred speech
- Headache, migraines
- Visual disturbances (blurred vision, flashes of light)
- Numbness or tingling on one side (paresthesia)
Some people who experience one or more TIAs will likely have a stroke later on. Recognizing and treating a TIA is the best way to reduce your risk of having a stroke. If you experience the above symptoms, call 911 or have someone transport you to a local emergency room immediately.
If your doctor diagnoses a TIA he or she will prescribe blood thinners or Aspirin to prevent clots from forming in your blood stream which can lead to a stroke. Your doctor will also run an EKG or ECG (Electrocardiogram) to determine if you have a preexisting heart condition (arrhythmia's) that can cause TIAs or strokes.
This has been your Medical Minute.
More info on the Web
As always, any medical information published on this blog is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care professional.