transient ischemic attack, usually known by its acronym TIA, is a
temporary loss of brain function caused by low blood flow to a
portion of the brain. The lack of blood flow is due to a blockage in
an artery that serves the brain, usually caused by a blood clot that
has traveled from another site.
symptoms caused by a TIA can be similar to those of a stroke, but
usually last less than half an hour. The problems caused will depend
on the vessel or artery that is blocked. Some of the more common
of vision or hearing
in the face and arms
or loss of sensation in one or more limbs
with speech or word recognition
type of episode can be a warning that the person is at risk for a
stroke. So someone who is having or has had a TIA should go to a
hospital emergency room as quickly as possible. The patient will
usually be scheduled for a computerized tomography (CT) scan of the
brain, cerebral angiography, or other tests, to determine how high
the risk is.
someone has had a TIA, the aim is to prevent another such episode or
a stroke. If you have had a TIA you will usually be prescribed
antiplatelet agents, which reduce the bloodís ability to clot.
Aspirin is one such agent, but there are others available as well.
of the treatment measures recommended for people with coronary
artery disease are also effective at reducing the risk of TIA and
stroke. Your physician may ask that you
may also be required to take medications to lower your blood
pressure and cholesterol level.
people who have had a TIA must have a surgical procedure called an
endarterectomy. In this operation, atherosclerotic deposits are
removed from the patientís neck artery to improve blood flow to
you have had a TIA, carefully following your doctorís instructions
can help you to remain active and healthy.