What Are Basics of TIA?




What is TIA?

A transient ischemic attack (TIA) occurs when part of the brain experiences a temporary lack of blood flow. It usually lasts only a few minutes and causes no permanent damage.


What are causes of TIA?

Blood clots are the leading cause of TIA. Other common causes include:

  • atherosclerosis, or narrowed arteries
  • carotid artery disease
  • diabetes
  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol
  • hypertension


What are signs and symptoms of TIA?

The most common signs and symptoms of TIA are:

  • an abnormal sense of smell and taste
  • an altered level of consciousness
  • balance issues
  • confusion
  • dizziness
  • dysphasia, a language disorder
  • dysarthria, or physical difficulty when speaking
  • severe headache
  • passing out
  • tingling
  • vision changes
  • weakness or numbness on the right or left side of the face or body, determined by the location of the blood clot in the brain

Go to the emergency room (ER) if you’re having any of the symptoms above.


What are treatment options for TIA?

Treatment options include medications, surgery, and lifestyle changes.

1. Medications

  • Anticoagulants including heparin and warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven)
  • Anti-platelet drugs including aspirin and clopidogrel (Plavix)
  • Thrombolytic agents including alteplase (Activase)

2. Surgery

  • If you have a moderately or severely narrowed neck (carotid) artery, your doctor may recommend a surgery called a carotid endarterectomy.
  • Your doctor will clear the carotid arteries of fatty deposits and plaques in order to reduce the risk of another ministroke or a stroke.

3. Lifestyle changes

  • eating more fruits and vegetables
  • exercising
  • getting enough sleep
  • improving your control of other medical conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol
  • losing weight
  • reducing stress
  • reducing your intake of fried or sugary foods

To learn more you should go to a medical professional.

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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.