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)
  • Confusion
  • 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

Transient Ischemic Attack - TIA -- American Heart Assoc.
Transient Ischemic Attack -- MayoClinic
Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA, Mini-Stroke) -- eMedicine

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.

  • missmiami

    thanks 4 always looking out for us Sandra. Who's chatting this week? I missed it last week.

  • http://charactercorner.blogspot.com attorneymom

    I had one (TIA) almost a year and half ago. God is good. I'm still here by the grace of God.

  • http://myspace.com/tamarlese Peachizz

    Thx sandra could this bewhat AJ had!!!

  • Anna

    Peachizz Says:

    Thx sandra could this bewhat AJ had!!!
    ~~~~~~
    I read that AJ may have had Sicle Cell. They let the guy out on bond.