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Transient Ischemic Attack A transient ischemic attack (TIA) is a transient stroke that lasts only a few minutes. It occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is briefly interrupted. TIA symptoms, which usually occur suddenly, are similar to those of stroke but do not last as long. Most symptoms of a TIA disappear within an hour, although they may persist for up to 24 hours.
TIAs are often warning signs that a person is at risk for a more serious and debilitating stroke. About one-third of those who have a TIA will have an acute stroke some time in the future. Many strokes can be prevented by heeding the warning signs of TIAs and treating underlying risk factors. Treatable factors linked to TIAs and stroke:
High blood pressure
Carotid artery disease
Heavy use of alcohol Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. www.ninds.nih.gov Symptoms can include:
Numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body
Confusion or difficulty in talking or understanding speech
Trouble seeing in one or both eyes
Difficulty with walking, dizziness, or loss of balance and coordination. LifeART Collection Images Copyright © 1989-2001 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore, MD