Transient Ischemic Attack is a temporary decrease in the blood supply to some part of the brain. The affected part of the brain is temporarily unable to function normally, but recovery is usually complete. Most attacks come on suddenly and last only a few minutes. They occur most commonly in adults over age 40.
Causes of Transient Ischemic Attack (tia)
TIA's are the result of a partial blockage in a small artery in the brain. They are frequently caused by clumps of platelets or a portion of a blood clot that develop at a diseased artery and break free. This material floats through the vessels until it becomes lodges in the smaller vessels. Here, it leads to a temporary reduction or cessation of blood flow to an area of the brain. The material usually is broken down in a few minutes or a few hours, with the restitution of normal blood flow. It the vessel remains blocked for a longer period a stroke may develop. Emboli can also come from the heart, the heart valves and other sources.
Signs and Symptoms of Transient Ischemic Attack (tia)
The hallmark of transient ischemic attack is the rapidity with which the symptoms come and go. Most commonly, they last only a few minutes. However, at times they can last up to 24 hours. Recurrent symptoms that affect the same part of the brain are highly suggestive of vascular disease in the distribution of that area. The symptoms that develop are a reflection of the section of the brain affected. There may be dizziness an vertigo, loss of balance and unstable gait. There may be weakness or paralysis, particularly on one side of the body. Loss of sensation may also occur. Loss of vision in one eye, or on one side of the body may develop, depending on whether the eye or the brain is affected. Slurred speech and the inability to understand speech may develop.
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Medical Content Last Updated on 07/12/2008
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