Transient ischemic attack (TIA) or “mini-stroke,” can be thought of as a warning sign for a future full-blown stroke attack. It is the result of a temporarily blocked blood vessel in the brain that leads to stroke symptoms only lasting for a short period. TIA is one of three main stroke types. The other two types are ischemic and hemorrhagic.
TIAs occur when there is a temporary clot in the brain that clears up within moments. Because there are limited immediate consequences of a TIA, many people ignore the important warning sign that it is. If a person has become the subject of a TIA, there are likely more clots in their body that could eventually restrict blood flow in the brain for a longer period of time.
Symptoms of TIA:
Immediate symptoms of TIA are similar to symptoms experienced with any stroke. The difference is that TIA symptoms will last for less than five minutes, leaving no permanent brain damage. Any sign of stroke is reason seek medical attention. Stroke symptoms can be remembered by using the acronym FAST:
- Face drooping to one side
- Arms: one arm will fall when raised above head
- Speech will be slurred or jumbled
- Time: call 9-1-1 immediately after noticing symptoms
- An estimated one-third of the people who experience a TIA will go on to have a severe stroke attack within one year.
- Approximately 15% of strokes are preceded by TIAs.
- Risk of TIA and other strokes increase with age.
Seeking medical attention immediately following a TIA may help to greatly reduce the chances of a future ischemic stroke attack.
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