Sunday, 6 May 2012

TIA. Transient ischemic attack

Transient ischemic attack (TIA, pre stroke)

A temporary decrease in the blood supply to some part of the brain. The affected part of the brain does not function properly, producing the symptoms observed. The syndrome looks similar to a stroke except the symptoms last less than 24 hours and the majority resolve in the first hour. The most common causes of TIA are atherosclerosis and atrial fibrillation. These patients need a full wok-up to identify and treat the cause of the TIA since 15% of patients with this disorder will go on to have a stroke.

Weakness, numbness, heavy feeling of extremities, slurred speech, inability to speak, vision changes, sensation that the room is moving (vertigo), loss of balance, lack of coordination, gait changes, staggering, falling (caused by weakness in the legs), confusion.

The goal is to prevent the development of a stroke. Specific treatment depends on what is causing the decreased blood flow to the brain and may include: platelet inhibitors (aspirin, clopidogrel-Plavix, aspirin extended-release dipyridamole-aggrenox), anti-coagulants (heprain, enoxaparin, warfarin), and or surgery.
Tests to determine the cause of the symptoms, and identify any blocked arteries will be done.