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

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

The intensity and location of the blood limitation to the brain will determine what symptoms will occur as a result of a stroke or TIA. Many people experience confusion, weakness, and lethargy. If the loss of blood supply is in an area supplied by the middle cerebral artery, a classic sign may include weakness or paralysis and numbness of one side of the body. The whole side may be affected, or just one limb. Often there is a facial droop. If the stroke is on the left side of the body where the speech centers are usually located, there may be difficulty understanding words or speaking. Partial vision loss may also be part of the constellation of symptoms.

Strokes involving the vertebral arteries decrease blood supply to the base of the brain and may cause a drop attack (a sudden fall while walking or standing, and then a quick recovery), an unexpected collapse, incoordination, or difficulty walking.

The important distinction between stroke and TIA is resolution of the symptoms. By definition, the symptoms of a TIA must completely resolve. And, while this most often occurs within the first few minutes after symptom onset, it may take up to 24 hours to have complete return to normal function.

A special type of TIA is amaurosis fugax. Transient blindness in one eye occurs because debris from a narrowed carotid artery clogs the artery (ophthalmic artery) that supplies blood to the back of the eye.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Dale, 75 or over Male (Caregiver) Published: February 19

He has atrial fibrillation, diabetes, and stage 3 kidney disease. He has been sick for a month, has anemia and took iron, but was B/12 anemic. He was hospitalized, needed 4 units of blood, and medicine changes before being discharged. Today we were going out for lunch and he just lost the ability to speak and just stared into space for about 90 seconds. I asked if he was ok and he answered no. Within 3 minutes after the TIA (transient ischemic attack) he was fine.

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Comment from: pat, 55-64 Female Published: April 15

I have had spasmodic torticollis for over 5 years. A physical therapist has me doing certain neck, shoulder, and arm stretching movements which do help and I have had Botox injections for about 2 years which help some. I walk a few blocks every day and that also helps. The chiropractor is also good (every week or less). Green Earth Naturals for deep green algae for the rich nutrients are very helpful.

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