Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA, Mini-Stroke)

  • Medical Author:
    Benjamin Wedro, MD, FACEP, FAAEM

    Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

  • Medical Editor: Daniel Lee Kulick, MD, FACC, FSCAI
    Daniel Lee Kulick, MD, FACC, FSCAI

    Daniel Lee Kulick, MD, FACC, FSCAI

    Dr. Kulick received his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Southern California, School of Medicine. He performed his residency in internal medicine at the Harbor-University of California Los Angeles Medical Center and a fellowship in the section of cardiology at the Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Cardiology.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

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Stroke Symptoms

What are the symptoms of a stroke?

  • Acute change in level of consciousness or confusion
  • Acute onset of weakness or paralysis of half or part of the body
  • Numbness of one half of the body
  • Partial vision loss
  • Double vision
  • Difficulty speaking or understanding speech
  • Difficulty with balance and vertigo

Quick GuideUnderstanding Stroke Symptoms, Signs, Treatment

Understanding Stroke Symptoms, Signs, Treatment

Transient ischemic attack (TIA) facts

  • A transient ischemic attack (TIA) is a brief interruption of blood flow to part of the brain that causes temporary stroke-like symptoms.
  • The risks for TIA are the same as for heart attack, stroke, and peripheral artery disease, and include smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and family history.
  • The artery blockage may occur because of a ruptured plaque due to atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries, debris that floats downstream from narrowed carotid arteries or blood clots (emboli) that form (often in the heart) and travel to block an artery in the brain.
  • Since TIAs resolve on their own, the goal for treatment is to minimize the risk of future TIAs and stroke. Treatment involves looking for the reason why the TIA occurred.
  • Treatment may include aspirin or other anti-platelet medications like Aggrenox or clopidogrel (Plavix).
  • It is important to educate the patient and family that should another stroke-like event occur, 911 must be called and emergency medical services activated, since there is no guarantee that symptoms will resolve.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/9/2015

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