Transient Ischemic Attack

Also called: Mini-stroke, TIA

A transient ischemic attack (TIA) is a stroke lasts only a few minutes. It happens when the blood supply to part of the brain is briefly blocked. Symptoms of a TIA are like other stroke symptoms, but do not last as long. They happen suddenly, and include

  • Numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body
  • Confusion or trouble speaking or understanding speech
  • Trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Difficulty walking
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of balance or coordination

Most symptoms of a TIA disappear within an hour, although they may last for up to 24 hours. Because you cannot tell if these symptoms are from a TIA or a stroke, you should go to the hospital right away.

TIAs are often a warning sign for future strokes. Taking medicine, such as blood thinners, may reduce your risk of a stroke. Your doctor might also recommend surgery. You can also help lower your risk by having a healthy lifestyle. This includes not smoking, not drinking too much, eating a healthy diet, and exercising. It is also important to control other health problems, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol.

NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Symptoms of Transient Ischemic Attack

The following features are indicative of Transient Ischemic Attack:
  • loss of balance or coordination
  • dizziness
  • difficulty walking
  • trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • confusion
  • weakness especially on one side of the body
It is possible that Transient Ischemic Attack shows no physical symptoms and still is present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Transient Ischemic Attack

The following are the most common causes of Transient Ischemic Attack:
  • formation of plaques in an artery or one of its branches

Risk Factors for Transient Ischemic Attack

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Transient Ischemic Attack:
  • family history
  • older age
  • being men
  • prior transient ischemic attack
  • sickle cell disease
  • use of birth control pills
  • cigarette smoking
  • alcohol consumption
  • overweight
  • having diabetes
  • peripheral artery disease
  • carotid artery disease
  • cardiovascular disease
  • high blood pressure

Prevention of Transient Ischemic Attack

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Transient Ischemic Attack. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • avoid smoking
  • limit cholesterol and fat intake in your diet
  • eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
  • avoid salty foods
  • exercise regularly
  • limit alcohol consumption
  • maintain a healthy body weight

Occurrence of Transient Ischemic Attack

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Transient Ischemic Attack cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Transient Ischemic Attack most commonly occurs in the following age group:
  • Aged between 35-50 years

Common Gender

Transient Ischemic Attack can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Transient Ischemic Attack

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Transient Ischemic Attack:
  • Physical examination: To evaluate risk factors of a stroke
  • Carotid ultrasonography: To look for narrowing or clotting in the carotid arteries
  • Computerized tomography scan: To assemble a composite 3-D look at your brain
  • Computerized tomography angiography scan: To evaluate the arteries in your neck and brain
  • Arteriography: To see the arteries in your brain
  • Magnetic resonance imaging: To create a detailed view of the brain
  • Echocardiogram: To create the detailed images of the heart

Doctor for Diagnosis of Transient Ischemic Attack

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Transient Ischemic Attack:
  • Cardiologist
  • Neurologist

Complications of Transient Ischemic Attack if untreated

Yes, Transient Ischemic Attack causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Transient Ischemic Attack is left untreated:
  • paralysis
  • difficulty in talking or swallowing
  • memory loss or thinking difficulties
  • sensitive to temperature changes

Procedures for Treatment of Transient Ischemic Attack

The following procedures are used to treat Transient Ischemic Attack:
  • Surgery: To clear atherosclerotic plaques from the carotid arteries
  • Angioplasty: To open a clogged artery and placing a small wire tube (stent) into the artery to keep it open

Self-care for Transient Ischemic Attack

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Transient Ischemic Attack:
  • Maintain healthy diet: Help in the prevention of stroke
  • Lose extra weight: Decreases the risk of stroke
  • Regular physical activity: To help you stay at a healthy weight and keep the cholesterol and blood pressure levels in control
  • Quit smoking: Lowers the risk of stroke
  • Limit alcohol consumption: Avoid drinking too much alcohol reduces the risk

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Transient Ischemic Attack

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Transient Ischemic Attack:
  • Acupuncture: Prevents the stroke recurrence

Patient Support for Treatment of Transient Ischemic Attack

The following actions may help Transient Ischemic Attack patients:
  • Join a support group: Meet others who are coping with a stroke
  • Freinds and Family: Let friends and family know what you need

Time for Treatment of Transient Ischemic Attack

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Transient Ischemic Attack to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • In 6 months - 1 year

Related Topics

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Transient Ischemic Attack.

Related Topics

Ischemic Stroke

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