Learn about the disease, illness and/or condition Mini-Stroke (Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA, Mini-Stroke)) including: symptoms, causes, treatments, contraindications and conditions at ClusterMed.info.
Mini-Stroke (Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA, Mini-Stroke))
|Mini-Stroke (Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA, Mini-Stroke))
Mini-Stroke (Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA, Mini-Stroke)) Information
Transient ischemic attack (TIA) facts
How is transient ischemic attack (TIA) diagnosed?
TIA is diagnosed by history and physical examination. Since most often the symptoms have resolved, the physician will need to complete a thorough history from the patient and family or friends who witnessed the event. The physical exam will include careful attention to the neurologic examination. This may include:
What are the causes of transient ischemic attack (TIA)?
Loss of blood supply to portions of the brain may occur for a variety of reasons. A blood vessel can become blocked, and blood supply to a part of the brain is lost, or a blood vessel can leak blood into the brain (brain hemorrhage). Most commonly however, the blood vessel is blocked. The blockage can be caused by a blood clot that forms in the blood vessel (thrombosis) or it can be caused by a clot or debris that floats downstream (embolus). Blocked blood vessels Fatty plaque formation in the blood vessel wall is called atherosclerosis or "hardening of the arteries." Plaque can rupture and cause a small blood clot to form and occlude the blood vessel. Blockage can also occur when debris from narrowing of a carotid artery breaks off, and floats downstream to cause the occlusion. Sometimes, in people with an irregular heart beat called atrial fibrillation, small blood clots can be formed within the heart and travel to the brain to cause the obstruction. Picture of Carotid Artery Disease and Plaque Buildup Picture of Carotid Artery Disease and Plaque Buildup Brain hemorrhage or bleeding in the brain can be due to an aneurysm, a weak spot in a blood vessel that ruptures and spills blood into the brain tissue, or it may be due to spontaneous bleeding caused by poorly controlled hypertension (high blood pressure). Such bleeding more commonly results in the irreversible damage of a stroke, and would not necessarily resolve to be classified as a TIA.
What are the risk factors for transient ischemic attack (TIA)?
The risk factors for TIA or stroke are the same as those for other vascular disease, similar to heart attack (coronary artery disease) or peripheral vascular disease, which causes decreased blood flow to the legs. These risk factors include:
What are the symptoms of transient ischemic attack (TIA)?
The intensity and location of the blood limitation to the brain will determine what symptoms will occur as a result of a stroke or TIA. Many people experience confusion, weakness, and lethargy. If the loss of blood supply is in an area supplied by the middle cerebral artery, a classic sign may include weakness or paralysis and numbness of one side of the body. The whole side may be affected, or just one limb. Often there is a facial droop. If the stroke is on the left side of the body where the speech centers are usually located, there may be difficulty understanding words or speaking. Partial vision loss may also be part of the constellation of symptoms. Strokes involving the vertebral arteries decrease blood supply to the base of the brain and may cause a drop attack (a sudden fall while walking or standing, and then a quick recovery), an unexpected collapse, incoordination, or difficulty walking. The important distinction between stroke and TIA is resolution of the symptoms. By definition, the symptoms of a TIA must completely resolve. And, while this most often occurs within the first few minutes after symptom onset, it may take up to 24 hours to have complete return to normal function. A special type of TIA is amaurosis fugax. Transient blindness in one eye occurs because debris from a narrowed carotid artery clogs the artery (ophthalmic artery) that supplies blood to the retina of the eye.
What is a transient ischemic attack (TIA)?
The primary role of the brain is to send signals to the body for motor function and respond to receive signals received through the five senses (sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste). The brain processes information both through conscious thought, and unconsciously through the nervous systems that control basic bodily functions, like heart rate, breathing, and temperature control.
What is the prognosis for transient ischemic attack (TIA)?
A transient ischemic attack should be considered a major warning sign of an impending future stroke. Up to 10% of people will experience a stroke within three months of TIA. Since there is no way of predicting that stroke-like symptoms will resolve, the patient and family need to be educated should symptoms occur, they need to access medical care emergently activating the emergency medical services system and calling 911. If a stroke occurs, there is a very short period of time where the thrombolytic (clot busting drugs like alteplase [TPA]), can be used to reverse a stroke. In most hospitals, the drug can only be given within 4 1/2 hours of onset of stroke symptoms. In that time frame, the patient needs to get to the hospital, the diagnosis needs to be made, laboratory tests and head CT scans need to be performed, neurologic consultation needs to occur, and the drug administered. The longer the delay, greater the risk that the drug won't work and that complications such as bleeding into the brain will occur. Specialized interventional radiologists can inject TPA directly into the clot that has blocked the blood vessel in the brain. This can extend the time frame to six hours or longer, but currently this treatment is not widely available. TIAs should be considered the equivalent of angina of the brain. In heart disease, angina is the heart pain that warns of potential heart attack. When heart muscle is damaged, it cannot be replaced or repaired. Similarly, brain tissue is at risk when there is decreased blood supply and it, too, cannot be replaced.
What is the treatment for a transient ischemic attack (TIA)?
TIA Therapy Treatment for a transient ischemic attack is aimed at preventing a second stroke. Since there is no way of determining the severity of future episodes, and no guarantee that the symptoms will resolve, prevention of a future TIA or CVA is crucial. Treatment guidelines address a variety of targeted goals. Antiplatelet therapy
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