We have finally reached our last article on strokes.

Today, I will help you understand the Transient Ischemic Attack (henceforth to be known as TIA).

This temporary condition causes no permanent damage.

There is no damage to brain tissue and no permanent disabling conditions.

The symptoms normally pass after a 24-hour period.

With the temporary conditions, some people breathe a sigh of relief.

However, do not be deceived.

One-third of TIA sufferers will suffer an even stronger stroke soon thereafter.

What are the symptoms of TIA?

The symptoms listed below can also indicate other medical issues (such as a stronger stroke), however, you should still look for the following:

  • Sight begins to be corrupted
  • Language becomes incoherent
  • Balance is difficult to keep
  • Confusion sets in
  • Faintness and dizziness surprises you
  • The ability to smell and taste things change
  • On one side of the body and/or face feels numb
  • An unexplained tingling sensation washed over you

If you experience all or any of these symptoms, SEEK MEDICAL HELP IMMEDIATELY.

Considering the symptoms of TIA are temporary, how long do they last?

While we are all built differently, some people may experience symptoms for a minute, or even the entire day.

Some may even have symptoms disappear long before they even make it to the doctor.

Should your symptoms disappear before making it to your doctor, inform him or her of everything you experienced.

As with any stroke, you can readily identify the symptoms by using FAST. FAST is a set of criteria designed by the National Stroke Association.

What is FAST?

F= When the person smiles, notice whether or not the person’s face appears drooped

A= perform an ARM test. See if one of the arms appears to drift downward.

S= As you converse with the individual, notice if their SPEECH is incoherent

T= If yes to all the above, its TIME to call 911 and seek immediate medical assistance

Who would make a good candidate for TIA?

The risk factors, just as the symptoms of TIA are synonymous with other strokes and medical issues.

  • Smoking, Drinking, and Drug Use:
  • High Blood Pressure, Sugar, and Cholesterol:
  • Obesity:

The symptoms of TIA are so intertwined with other strokes, that it is impossible for you to know which one you are having. This determination needs to be handled by a medical professional.

How can the doctors determine TIA?

A CT scan or an MRI is needed for the doctor to find out whether you are having a TIA or stroke. The CT or MRI takes a picture of your brain and from that image, the doctor will be able to see if the symptoms are temporary or not.

Treatment of TIA

The treatment of TIA focuses on medications designed for the improvement of blood flow to the brain.

Secondly, it involves the identification of abnormalities in the brain. This part of the treatment is necessary to lessen the risk of another TIA or stroke. The identification is normally done by surgical procedures.

The medications include the following:

  • Antiplatelet Drugs: such as aspirin and Plavix are used to make sure that the platelets in your blood don’t stick to each other causing a stoppage in the blood flow
  • Anticoagulant Drugs: Such as Warfarin and Xarelto are used to target the proteins that cause the blood clots from forming rather than attacking the platelets.

The surgical procedures include the following:

  • Carotid Intervention: This procedure involves a catheter that the doctor places inside the femoral artery that resides in your groin area. In addition, a stent is placed there to improve blood flow to the brain. If a clog is found in the artery, the doctor will then use a sort of balloon to widen the artery and unclog it.
  • Surgery: If you have narrow, carotid arteries in your neck, your doctor may perform a surgery known as Endarterectomy, which cleans up all the fat and deposits that are causing the problem.

Can we prevent TIA?

As with any kind of stroke, the prevention of TIAs remains the same:

  • Smoking, Drinking, and Drug Use: Stop it.
  • High Blood Pressure, Sugar, and Cholesterol: Keep it low and have it checked often.
  • Obesity: Keep your weight under control.
  • Salt: Avoid it
  • Stress: Reduce it
  • Fried and Sugary Foods: Reduce if not stop eating them altogether
  • Fruits and Vegetables are your friends so eat more of them

TIAs, although temporary, deserves to be taken seriously. As with any medical issue, look out for the symptoms, keep or create regular check-ups, and don’t go blindly into an early grave.

I hope you enjoyed the series on strokes. Stay tuned for my next series. BRAIN DISEASES.




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