What should people know about a transient ischemic attack (TIA)?

A transient ischemic attack (TIA), often called a mini-stroke, is an interruption of blood flow to the brain that is not long enough to cause injury. Watch me explain how a TIA can be a key warning sign for a stroke.
Reza Jahan, MD
A transient ischemic attack (TIA), also called a mini-stroke, can be a warning sign for future strokes. If you have a TIA, your risk of having a full-blown stroke is 10 times greater. The risk is highest in the first 48 hours, then remains high over the next three months. There is still a higher risk of stroke three to five years after a mini-stroke.

So if you have had a TIA, it’s very important to see a doctor to find out why it happened and have the problem treated.
A transient ischemic attack (TIA) is like a “near miss.” Strokes are caused by loss of blood flow to the brain from plaque build-up in brain arteries, or a blood clot formed elsewhere that lodges in the artery flowing into the head. Lost blood flow causes stroke symptoms with permanent damage if the artery remains blocked. If blood flow returns quickly symptoms dissipate. When the body restores blood flow without brain damage this is a transient ischemic attack, or TIA. It increases the risk of having a future stroke.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.