Table of Contents Definition Page 2 General Information Page 2 Signs and Symptoms of TIA Page 3 Risk Factors Page 4 Preventive Measures Page 5 General Measures Page 6 Treatment Page 7 Expected Outcome Page 8 TRANSIENT ISCHEMIC ATTACKDefinitionA Transient Ischemic Attack, generally referred to as a TIA, is a type of stroke that only last a few minutes. They are sometimes called! SS mini-strokes. !" The term transient is used to describe a condition that lasts only a short amount of time. Ischemic describes an inadequate blood flow. Therefore, TIA is a deprivation of blood to the brain for a short period of time. General Information Transient Ischemic Attacks occur in the same way as an ischemic stroke.

Both occur when the blood supply to part of the brain is blocked, which is why a stroke is known as a cerebrovascular accident. ! SS Cerebro!" refers to a part of the brain. ! SS Vascular!" refers to the blood vessels and arteries. Conversely, TIAs occur when blood flow to the brain is reduced for a short period of time. Therefore, a TIA resolves, leaving no noticeable symptoms or disabilities. This temporary blockage is typically caused by a spasm of a brain artery, causing it to narrow.

However, it is also common for this blockage to be cause by a small blood clot in an artery. The average duration of a TIA is said to be a few minutes, however, it this has recently been corrected. By definition a transient ischemic attack could have symptoms that last up to a maximum of 24 hours. TIAs typically serve as a warning sign.

Any individual who has had a TIA is at an elevated risk for a more serious and debilitating stroke. Signs and Symptoms of a Transient Ischemic Attack Signs and symptoms of a TIA are superfluous, and hard to recognize by most doctors. In 1999 The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) has come to the conclusion that there is no way to tell whether symptoms will simply lead to a TIA, or if they will persist and lead to a major stroke, causing disability or even death. Signs and symptoms of a TIA are identical to those of an ischemic stroke, affecting the same areas of the body, and thus producing warnings such as: far Visual loss in one or both eyes far Double Vestibular Dysfunction (Spinning Sensation, a. k.

a. Vertigo) far Unilateral (one-sided) weakness, affecting the face, arm, or Unilateral Numbness or Increased Sensation in the face, arm, leg, or Slurring of Words fae Reduced Verbal Output (Difficulty Pronouncing or Comprehending) far Decreased Coordination (Loss of Balance or Falling with Standing or Walking, particularly designated to one side of the body) far Apathy or Inappropriate Behavior fae Excessive Somnolence far Agitation or Psychosis fae Confusion or Memory Changes fae Severe Headache with Unknown Cause As you can see, these symptoms are very vague, and can indicate many other illnesses. However, if you suspect that you or someone you know is experiencing signs indicative of a stroke, do not wait. CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY! ! ! ! Risk Factors Some people are at higher risk for TIA and stroke than others. The more risk factors you have the higher your chances are to have a transient ischemic attack or, even worse, a life threatening stroke. Several factors identify people who have the highest risk for a stroke.

There is nothing that can be done about some of the risk factors, such as the ones that follow: far Age! V The leading unalterable factor is age, especially if your older than 65. far Gender! V Men are at a higher risk for stroke than Race! V Blacks are at a greater risk of stroke than any other ethnic groups. This is partially due to their higher potential of having a high blood pressure or diabetes. far Family history! V your risk of stroke is slightly greater if one of your grandparents, parents, brothers, or sisters has had a stroke. However, other risk factors likely can be controlled if the individual believes it is worth the effort. The most important treatable risk factors are as follow: far Hypertension! V of all the risk factors that contribute to stroke, the most powerful is high blood pressure.

People with hypertension have a risk for stroke that is 4 to 6 times higher than the risk for those without hypertension. far Cardiovascular Disease! V this term refers to several heart conditions that can increase your risk of a stroke. This includes diseases such as Carotid Artery Disease and Atherosclerosis. far Diabetes! V Diabetes is a major risk for stroke, and it interferes with your body! |s ability to break down blood clots. Blood clots are the number one cause of stroke. far Obesity! V Being overweight increases your chances of developing high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes, which are all major risk factors of stroke.

far Tobacco Use! V Cigarette smoking is a major, preventable risk factor for stroke. Smoking contributes to plaques in your arteries. Also, nicotine raises blood pressure. far Excessive Alcohol! V Drinking an average of one alcoholic drink a day for women or two a day for men will lower your risk for stroke. However, drinking alcohol in abundance can increase your risk of stoke by up to 20%.

far Use Of Birth Control Pills! V The risk of stroke is higher among women who take birth control pills, especially among smokers, and women older than 35. Preventive Measures Damage from strokes or TIAs may be significantly reduced through emergency treatment. Measures to control your treatable risk factors can also lower the risk of stroke or TIA. These measures include diet, changes in lifestyle, and medications.

If you feel you are at risk of stroke or TIA, it may be helpful to reduce these dangers by considering the following preventive measures: far Consider Screening For Aneurysms in Those with a Family History of Aneurysms. far If You Smoke, Quit, Especially Women Over 35 far If you are on Birth Control, Consider another Method of Contraception fae Control High Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, Diabetes, and Heart Disease fae Find Out If You Have Heart Rhythm Problems, Especially Atrial Fibrillation fae Limit the Amount of Alcohol You Drink far Do Not Use Illegal Intravenous Drugs. far Keep Body Weight Down. Exercise Daily For 30 Minutes or More! ! far Eat Foods Low In Fat And Cholesterol.

far Use less Salt in Your Foods fae Consume Green-Yellow Vegetables Daily fae Maintain a High Fruit Intake fae Get Regular Checkups, And Follow the Doctor! |s Advice fae Learn To Relax And Avoid Stress In Your Life General Measures If you or someone you know is suffering from stroke-like symptoms, they should be taken to the hospital immediately. Patients should not drive themselves. Upon arrival, patients who have had symptoms for less than 3 hours (180 minutes), may be candidates for t PA (tissue-type activator). However, if the patient has come in after this small time period has passed, anti platelet therapy should be started as soon as possible. The first step for any emergency personnel is to confirm the diagnosis. As mentioned earlier, this can be difficult to do.

As with any medical visit, it is important to obtain a general medical history. Special emphasis should be given to areas such as stroke risk factors, and family history. This history is very important in assisting the doctor with diagnosis. Other important areas of an emergency patient history include the use of any type of drug (over-the-counter, prescription, or illegal), history of migraines or sever headaches, recent head trauma, previous blood clots, and history of spontaneous abortion in women of childbearing age.

After diagnosis is confirmed, your health care provider should make all attempts to treat these signs and symptoms before a devastating stroke occurs. Testing may also be done to check your heart, brain, and blood vessel function. This is likely to include such tests as: far Brain Imaging! V This type of testing is often done via CT-scan without the use of a contrast medium. This test is used to determine whether or not a hemorrhage has occurred.

It can also be used as a means of identifying conditions that! SS mimic!" TIAs. far EKG (Electrocardiogram)! V This test is used to determine your stroke risk factors. Particular attention is dedicated to atrial fibrillation and left ventricular hypertrophy. Both of which are predictors of an ischemic stroke. far PT (Prothrombin Time)! V This lab test is performed for the reason that the results are often elevated in hyper coagulable states. far Glucose Level! V This should be checked in patients suspected of TIA in order to rule out hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia, which can both cause stroke-like symptoms.

far Other Laboratory Testing! V A Drug abuse screening, pregnancy test, and blood alcohol level test should be performed on any suspected patient to rule out obvious mimickers of stroke. Treatment Treatment of TIA is aimed at preventing stroke via risk factor control, drug therapy, or even surgery. Risk factor control includes such things as controlling high blood pressure, cholesterol levels, diabetes (via drug therapy); maintaining a healthy diet and exercise program; and quitting smoking, if this was currently an issue. Drug therapy for TIA generally includes anti platelet drugs or anticoagulants. Some anti platelet drugs include aspirin and Dipyridamole. Anticoagulants are used when stronger drugs are needed and include heparin and warfarin.

In more severe cases, a surgical procedure known as is suggested. An is an operation used to widen the carotid artery. This is usually an option if it has been determined that the internal carotid artery is narrowed by more than 70% and if the person in question has been displaying stroke-like symptoms during the previous six to eight months. This surgery is usually used to prevent the future risk of a stroke.

This procedure has been shown to prevent blockage of the internal carotid artery over time and usually involves removing fatty deposits and clots in this important artery. Expected Outcome There are typically no lasting effects from TIA, such as there are with stroke. However, TIAs often recur. Symptoms for each TIA are likely to be similar. However, it has been shown that you may display completely different signs and symptoms with each recurring TIA.

Treatment of TIAs are known to reduce your chance of having a debilitating stroke in the future. Without treatment, over 30% of people who have TIAs have continued to have a stroke within 5 years.