Information for Patients
Transient Ischemic Attack
Also called: Mini-stroke, TIA
A transient ischemic attack (TIA) is a stroke that lasts only a few minutes. It happens when the blood supply to part of the brain is briefly blocked. Symptoms of a TIA are like other stroke symptoms, but do not last as long. They happen suddenly, and include
- Numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body
- Confusion or trouble speaking or understanding speech
- Trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Difficulty walking
- Loss of balance or coordination
Most symptoms of a TIA disappear within an hour, although they may last for up to 24 hours. Because you cannot tell if these symptoms are from a TIA or a stroke, you should go to the hospital right away.
TIAs are often a warning sign for future strokes. Taking medicine, such as blood thinners, may reduce your risk of a stroke. Your doctor might also recommend surgery. You can also help lower your risk by having a healthy lifestyle. This includes not smoking, not drinking too much, eating a healthy diet, and exercising. It is also important to control other health problems, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol.
NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
- Transient ischemic attack (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Vertebrobasilar circulatory disorders (Medical Encyclopedia)