What is tia?

TIA also known as transient ischemic attack is an experiential transient or temporary episode of neurological dysfunction caused by loss of blood flow or infarction of blood vessels in the brain, eye retina or spinal cord. Blood flow disruption is mostly caused by embolism characterized by formation of blood clots occluding brain arteries. Clots may arise from arteriosclerotic plaques that breaks off under pressure. Other risk factors include but not limited to hypertension and carotid heart diseases, family history of ischemic stroke, hypercholesterolemia, age (Those at or above 55 years of age are at increased risk of having TIA), alcoholism, gender (Males are at higher risk of having TIA than females), diabetes mellitus I and II obese and over-weight people, irregular heart-beat, sickle cell disease and tobacco smokers.

Transient Ischemic Attack
Transient Ischemic Attack

It is caused by the disruption of blood flow to the cerebrum area of the brain.

One of the first symptoms of TIA is a mini-stroke (a mini-stroke because it present symptoms similar to ischemic stroke).

Usually tia symptoms resolve within 24hours or less depending on the severity of blood flow disruption. Other tia symptoms that presents within that short transient period are: loss of vision, slurred speech, and temporary mental confusion.

People with transient ischemic attack lasting more than five minutes may cause permanent neurological damage due to severing and death of nerve cells (nerve cells do not divide when matured) may suffer from stroke or recurrent tia.

According to a study, transient ischemia attack has been indicated as one of the risk factors of stroke. Other conditions and disorders that may present the same symptoms as tia are the following:

  1. Subdural hematoma (This is bleeding under the dura mata- one of the outer protective coverings of the cerebrum).
  2. Brain tumor.
  3. Electrolytes level fluctuations and abnormalities.
  4. Glucose abnormalities. This may be traced from previous
  5. Atypical migraine.
  6. Brain seizures especially ones that occur within the parietal areas of the brain.

Transient ischemic attack symptoms

TIAs may vary between people based on the region of the brain affected. The following are several symptoms attributed to TIA.

  1. Loss of consciousness (this is often timed depending on the duration of blood flow disruption).
  2. Weakness on one side of the body, oftentimes it is the opposite side of the brain area suffering from embolism.
  3. Temporary facial paralysis and blurred speech due to its effect on the tongue.
  4. Numbness and tingling sensations in the body.
  5. Dizziness and lack of coordination.
  6. Temporary partial loss of sight in one or both eyes.

Having repeated ischemia attacks usually raise concerns, and it could be a sign you are having stroke. First sign of transient ischemic attack should always be reported to your doctor. Repeated TIA may be an indication that other severe heart diseases may be in progress.

Also, if the symptoms you experience does not resolve within or less than 24hours, report to your doctor immediately it is one of the safety nets you have.

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