Transient Ischemic Attack
|Blood Supply to the Brain|
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- Build up of plaque in the blood vessels, called atherosclerosis
- Vasculitis—swelling of the blood vessels
- Blindness in one eye, often described as a window shade dropping, and/or other visual problems
- Weakness, numbness, or tingling of the face, arm, leg, or one side of the body (usually affects one side of the body, but there are exceptions).
- Difficulty speaking or understanding words
- Dizziness, unsteadiness of gait, or falling
- Trouble with balance or coordination
- Loss of consciousness
- Sudden confusion or loss of memory
- Blood tests—such as a complete blood count, blood sugar (glucose), cholesterol and other fat levels, clotting factors, and a check of other elements in the blood
- Electrocardiogram (ECG) —to measure heart rhythm (which would be irregular in, for example, atrial fibrillation) and check for other signs of heart disease
- Doppler ultrasound —a test that uses sound waves to help determine if there is compromised blood flow in the arteries supplying the brain
- Echocardiogram —another ultrasound test to look for blood clots and valve abnormalities within the heart
- Computed tomography (CT) scan of the head —a type of x-ray that uses a computer to create images of structures inside the head; in this case, to look for evidence of bleeding or other damage to the brain
- CT angiogram (CTA)—a CT scan which uses dye to evaluate the blood vessels in the brain and neck.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of the head —a test that uses powerful magnetic radio waves to create images of structures inside the head; in this case, to look for evidence of bleeding or other damage to the brain
- Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) —a study of the blood vessels using MRI, creating two-dimensional and three-dimensional pictures.
- Arteriogram /angiogram—a test in which contrast dye is injected into selected arteries and x-ray images are produced to precisely locate the blockage or narrowing and to determine its extent
- Electroencephalogram (EEG) —a test that can detect the presence of seizures by measuring brain waves (used only if a seizure is suspected)
- A carotid endarterectomy —to remove the plaque deposits
- Other less invasive procedures such as (intra-arterial stenting)
Treatment of Underlying Conditions
- Atrial fibrillation
- Severe anemia
- Exercise regularly, with your doctor's approval.
- Eat a healthful diet. It should be low in saturated fat and rich in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables .
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- If you smoke, quit.
- Drink alcohol in moderation. Moderate alcohol intake is no more than two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women.
- Control blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes with medicines as needed.
American Heart Association http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/
National Stroke Association http://www.stroke.org/
Canadian Society for Vascular Surgery http://canadianvascular.ca/
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada http://ww2.heartandstroke.ca/
Amarenco P, Bogousslavsky J, Callahan A III, et al; Stroke Prevention by Aggressive Reduction in Cholesterol Levels (SPARCL) Investigators. High-dose atorvastatin after stroke or transient ischemic attack. N Engl J Med ; 2006;355:549-59.
FDA approves Pradaxa to prevent stroke in people with atrial fibrillation. US Food and Drug Administration website. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm230241.htm . Published October 19, 2010. Accessed September 4, 2012.
Lutsep HL. MATCH results: implications for the internist. Am J Med . 2006;119:526.
NINDS Transient Ischemic Attack Information Page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/tia/tia.htm . Accessed September 4, 2012.
Transient ischemic attack (TIA). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php . Updated August 30, 2012. Accessed September 4, 2012.
- Reviewer: Rimas Lukas, MD
- Review Date: 09/2012 -
- Update Date: 00/93/2012 -