Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA, Mini-Stroke) - Causes

Not ready to share? Read other Patient Comments

If known, what was the cause of a TIA in you, a friend or relative?

Share your story with others:

MedicineNet appreciates your comment. Your comment may be displayed on the site and will always be published anonymously.Patient Comments FAQs

Enter your Comment

Tell us a bit about your background to make your comments more useful to other MedicineNet users. (Optional)

Screen Name: *

Gender of Patient: Male Female

Age Range of Patient:

I am a: Patient Caregiver


* Screen Name will appear next to the published comment. Please do not include your full name or email address.

By submitting your comment, and other materials (collectively referred to as a "Submission") to MedicineNet, you grant MedicineNet permission to use, copy, transmit, publish, display, edit and modify your Submission in connection with its Web site. MedicineNet will not pay you for your Submission. You represent that you have all rights necessary for MedicineNet to use your Submission as set forth above.

Please keep these guidelines in mind when writing your comment:

  • Please make sure you address the question asked.
  • Due to the overwhelming number of comments received, not all comments will be published.
  • When selecting comments to publish, our staff will choose those that are educational and complement the topic. Please try to stay on topic.
  • Your comment may be edited. We would typically edit comments to make them clearer and more readable. We will remove personal information such as last names, email and web addresses, and other potentially harmful information.
  • We will not notify you if your comment has been published. We suggest that you check back on the topic article regularly.
  • We do not provide medical or healthcare advice, treatment, or diagnosis.

Thank you for participating!


I have read and agree to abide by the MedicineNet Terms and Conditions and the MedicineNet Privacy Policy (required).

To prevent our systems from spam, please complete the following prior to submitting your comment.

Please select the black square:

What are the causes of transient ischemic attack (TIA)?

Loss of blood supply to portions of the brain can occur for a variety of reasons. A blood vessel can become blocked, and blood supply to a part of the brain is lost, or a blood vessel can leak blood into the brain (brain hemorrhage). Most commonly however, the blood vessel is blocked. The blockage can be caused by a blood clot that forms in the blood vessel (thrombosis) or it can be caused by a clot or debris that floats downstream (embolus).

Blocked blood vessels

Fatty plaque formation in the blood vessel wall is called atherosclerosis or "hardening of the arteries." Plaque can rupture and cause a small blood clot to form and occlude the blood vessel. Blockage can also occur when debris from narrowing of a carotid artery breaks off, and floats downstream to cause the occlusion. Sometimes, in people with an irregular heart beat called atrial fibrillation, small blood clots can be formed within the heart and travel to the brain to cause the obstruction.

Picture of Carotid Artery Disease and Plaque Buildup
Picture of Carotid Artery Disease and Plaque Buildup

Picture of Carotid Artery Disease and Plaque Buildup

Brain hemorrhage or bleeding in the brain can be due to an aneurysm, a weak spot in a blood vessel that ruptures and spills blood into the brain tissue, or it may be due to spontaneous bleeding caused by poorly controlled hypertension (high blood pressure). Such bleeding more commonly results in the irreversible damage of a stroke, as opposed to a TIA.

Return to Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA, Mini-Stroke)

See what others are saying

Comment from: soccermom, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 14

I fell and hit my head on the ice in December. I had a concussion from that. I started having blurred vision, numbness in my face and left arm, and passed out in February. I had a couple of more occurrences, but have not passed out again. I finally went to the doctor and they have diagnosed it as transient ischemic attack (TIA). I wonder if that could be from the concussion.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: Orthodox Mom, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: April 11

My transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) were caused by a hole in my heart. I had approximately 11 cerebellar TIAs over the course of 1 hour. An MRI showed that I also had evidence of 2 older TIAs in my brain. I meet none of the criteria for stroke. I am not overweight, diabetic or hypertensive, and I exercise regularly. A bubble study of my heart revealed an atrial septal defect (ASD) which allowed small clots to pass through the chambers of the heart and travel to my brain - thus causing the strokes. After a transcatheter procedure to close the hole, I am doing well. No further TIAs.

Was this comment helpful?Yes

STAY INFORMED

Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!