Friday, March 21, 2008

Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)

A TIA is a "warning stroke" or "mini-stroke" that produces stroke-like symptoms but no lasting damage. Recognizing and treating TIAs can reduce your risk of a major stroke.

Most strokes aren't preceded by TIAs. However, of the people who've had one or more TIAs, more than a third will later have a stroke. In fact, a person who's had one or more TIAs is more likely to have a stroke than someone of the same age and sex who hasn't.

TIAs are important in predicting if a stroke will occur rather than when one will happen. They can occur days, weeks or even months before a major stroke. In about half the cases, the stroke occurs within one year of the TIA.

What causes a transient ischemic attack?

TIAs occur when a blood clot temporarily clogs an artery, and part of the brain doesn't get the blood it needs. The symptoms occur rapidly and last a relatively short time. Most TIAs last less than five minutes. The average is about a minute. Unlike stroke, when a TIA is over, there's no injury to the brain.

What are the symptoms of a TIA?

It's very important to recognize the warning signs of a TIA or stroke. The usual TIA symptoms are the same as those of stroke, only temporary:

Muscle weakness of the face, arm, or leg (usually only on one side of the body)
Numbness or tingling on one side of the body
Trouble speaking or understanding others who are speaking
Problems with eyesight (double vision, loss of all or part of vision)
Changes in sensation, involving touch, pain, temperature, pressure, hearing, and taste
Change in alertness (sleepiness, less responsive, unconscious, or coma)
Personality, mood, or emotional changes
Confusion or loss of memory
Difficulty swallowing
Difficulty writing or reading
Lack of coordination and balance, clumsiness, or trouble walking
Abnormal sensation of movement (vertigo) or dizziness
Lack of control over the bladder or bowels
Inability to recognize or identify sensory stimuli (agnosia)

It was a rough night last night.


Józef Jan Hughes said...

So sorry to hear that, Jim. My Dad had two TIAs in the last 12 months - that he knows of. Nowhere near as bad as the stroke he suffered in 2003, but still terrifying. God bless!

Jason said...

Geez Jim...can I help you in any way? Just let me know if you need ANYTHING man.

Jackie Melton said...

Jim, hang in there!

Anonymous said...'s your little bro in ocala florida...hang in there...thanks for everything you are doing up there for mom and for the rest of our family...i really appreciate it and, again, hang in there. john