Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)

* Transient ischemic attack or TIA , also called " little stroke", it is a result from a temporary interruption of blood flow. it is considered the least severe.

It is usually a recurrent episode of neurologic deficit, it may last for just seconds or hours and clears within 12 - 24 hours. It is considered to be a warning sign of an impending thrombotic cerebrovascular accident (CVA ). Studies shows that TIA's have been reported in 50% to 80% of patients who have had a cerebral infarction from such thrombosis.

More common after the age of 50 and men are more prone to have TIA's.

In TIA, microemboli released from a thrombus probably temporarily interrupt blood flow, especially in the small distal branches of the arterial tree in the brain. Small spasms in those arterioles may impair blood flow and also precede TIA. Predisposing factors are the same as for thrombotic CVAs. Distinctive characteristics of TIA's include the transient duration of neurologic deficits and complete return of normal function.

Symptoms of TIA's:

Double vision
Speech deficits (slurring)
Unilateral blindness
Uncoordinated gait (staggering) - May fall easily due to weakness of legs
Unilateral weakness


Treatment to prevent a complete CVA
Aspirin or anticoagulants to minimize the risk of thrombosis
After or between attacks; preventive treatment includes carotid endarterectomy or cerebral microvascular bypass

Also See Stroke

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