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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
Diagnosis and Tests
- Healthy Living after Stroke (American Stroke Association)
- Mini-Stroke vs. Regular Stroke: What's the Difference? (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in Spanish
Videos and Tutorials
- Transient Ischemic Attack (American Heart Association)
Statistics and Research
- Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics (American Heart Association)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Ischemic Attack, Transient (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Pragmatic trial of multifaceted intervention (STROKE-CARD care) to reduce cardiovascular...
- Article: Long-term, telephone-based follow-up after stroke and TIA improves risk factors:...
- Article: Clinical skills or high-tech MR in TIA patients: what makes...
- Transient Ischemic Attack -- see more articles