Transient ischemic attack (TIA) is more than a mini-stroke – it’s a warning of a dangerous and potentially deadly stroke that could happen in the near future. TIAs are caused by a clot that blocks blood supply to part of the brain. These stroke-like attacks generally resolve within minutes and don’t cause permanent damage but should be treated as medical emergencies to prevent a more serious or deadly stroke event. The American Stroke Association reports that 9 to 17 percent of people who have a TIA will have a stroke within 90 days.
The symptoms of a transient ischemic attack are like that of a stroke. Symptoms appear suddenly, but typically last for less than 60 minutes. These include weakness and numbness in the face, arm or leg, slurred speech, vertigo or loss of balance, double vision or blindness in one or both eyes, and severe headache with no apparent cause.
Using state-of-the-art technology and advanced imaging tests, CHI Memorial vascular neurologists determine the cause of symptoms related to TIA – and seek the most appropriate treatment. These options may include antiplatelet drugs, anticoagulants, minimally invasive carotid interventions or surgery. Controlling other risk factors like high blood pressure and cholesterol, diabetes, and stopping smoking are key to preventing future strokes.
TIAs are dangerous and should be evaluated by highly trained stroke specialists. Patients who suspect a TIA should go to the emergency room immediately. By identifying a clear path for the best treatment, reducing evaluation time and the time it takes to administer a clot-busting drug, CHI Memorial is drastically improving the treatment of people who seek stroke care at our hospitals.
For more information about fast and effective stroke care, call CHI Memorial Neuroscience Institute at (423) 206-4140.