Transient Ischemic Attack

Topics: Stroke, Myocardial infarction, Heart Pages: 6 (1769 words) Published: February 17, 2005
Table of Contents

Definition Page 2

General InformationPage 2

Signs and Symptoms of TIAPage 3

Risk FactorsPage 4

Preventive MeasuresPage 5

General MeasuresPage 6

TreatmentPage 7

Expected OutcomePage 8


A Transient Ischemic Attack, generally referred to as a TIA, is a type of stroke that only last a few minutes. They are sometimes called ¡§mini-strokes.¡¨ The term transient is used to describe a condition that lasts only a short amount of time. Ischemic describes an inadequate blood flow. Therefore, TIA is a deprivation of blood to the brain for a short period of time. General Information

Transient Ischemic Attacks occur in the same way as an ischemic stroke. Both occur when the blood supply to part of the brain is blocked, which is why a stroke is known as a cerebrovascular accident.

¡§Cerebro¡¨ refers to a part of the brain.
¡§Vascular¡¨ refers to the blood vessels and arteries.
Conversely, TIAs occur when blood flow to the brain is reduced for a short period of time. Therefore, a TIA resolves, leaving no noticeable symptoms or disabilities. This temporary blockage is typically caused by a spasm of a brain artery, causing it to narrow. However, it is also common for this blockage to be cause by a small blood clot in an artery. The average duration of a TIA is said to be a few minutes, however, it this has recently been corrected. By definition a transient ischemic attack could have symptoms that last up to a maximum of 24 hours. TIAs typically serve as a warning sign. Any individual who has had a TIA is at an elevated risk for a more serious and debilitating stroke. Signs and Symptoms of a Transient Ischemic Attack

Signs and symptoms of a TIA are superfluous, and hard to recognize by most doctors. In 1999 The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) has come to the conclusion that there is no way to tell whether symptoms will simply lead to a TIA, or if they will persist and lead to a major stroke, causing disability or even death. Signs and symptoms of a TIA are identical to those of an ischemic stroke, affecting the same areas of the body, and thus producing warnings such as: ľVisual loss in one or both eyes

ľDouble vision
ľVestibular Dysfunction (Spinning Sensation, a.k.a. Vertigo) ľUnilateral (one-sided) weakness, affecting the face, arm, or leg ľUnilateral Numbness or Increased Sensation in the face, arm, leg, or trunk ľSlurring of Words

ľReduced Verbal Output (Difficulty Pronouncing or Comprehending) ľDecreased Coordination (Loss of Balance or Falling with Standing or Walking, particularly designated to one side of the body) ľApathy or Inappropriate Behavior

ľExcessive Somnolence
ľAgitation or Psychosis
ľConfusion or Memory Changes
ľSevere Headache with Unknown Cause
As you can see, these symptoms are very vague, and can indicate many other illnesses. However, if you suspect that you or someone you know is experiencing signs indicative of a stroke, do not wait. CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY!!!! Risk Factors

Some people are at higher risk for TIA and stroke than others. The more risk factors you have the higher your chances are to have a transient ischemic attack or, even worse, a life threatening stroke. Several factors identify people who have the highest risk for a stroke. There is nothing that can be done about some of the risk factors, such as the ones that follow: ƒæAge ¡V The leading unalterable factor is age, especially if your older than 65. ƒæGender ¡V Men are at a higher risk for stroke than women ƒæRace ¡V Blacks are at a greater risk of stroke than any other ethnic groups. This is partially due to their higher potential of having a high blood pressure or diabetes. ƒæFamily history ¡V your risk of stroke is slightly greater if one of your grandparents, parents, brothers, or sisters has had a stroke....
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