TIA is a ministroke, being a warning. About 1 in 3 people who have a transient ischemic attack will eventually have a stroke, with about half occurring within a year after the transient ischemic attack.
TIA served as a warning of an impending stroke and, in parallel, an opportunity to take steps to prevent it.
- Blindness in one or both eyes or double vision
- Dizziness or loss of balance or coordination
- Slurred or garbled speech or difficulty understanding others
- Weakness, numbness or paralysis in face, arm or leg, typically on one side of your body
The origins of TIA is similar to ischemic stroke, the most common type of stroke. In an ischemic stroke, a clot blocks the blood supply to part of the brain. TIA is unlike a stroke with brief blockage without permanent damage.
TIA often is a buildup of cholesterol-containing fatty deposits, the plaques (atherosclerosis), in an artery or one of its branches that supplies oxygen and nutrients to to brain. Plaques can slow down the blood flow through an artery and can lead to the development of a clot. A blood clot moving to an artery, which supplies blood from the heart to the brain, may cause a TIA.
Unchanged Risk factors:
- Age, especially after age 55
- Family history
- Prior transient ischemic attack. If having one or more TIAs, you’re 10 times more likely to have a stroke
- Race. Blacks have greater risk of dying of a stroke, partly because of the higher prevalence of high blood pressure and diabetes among blacks.
- Sex. Male has a slightly higher likelihood of TIA and stroke
- Sickle cell disease
- Cardiovascular disease
- Carotid artery disease
- Excess weight – Stay at a healthy weight. Being overweight makes it more likely to develop heart problems, high blood pressure and diabetes. These conditions make a stroke more likely
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol. Eating less cholesterol and fat, especially saturated fat and trans fats
- High levels of homocysteine
- Peripheral artery disease (PAD)
- Cigarette smoking – Don’t smoke or allow others to smoke around
- Heavy drinking
- Physical inactivity – Do activities to raise heart rate. Get at least 30 minutes of exercise daily. Walking is a good choice
- Poor nutrition, eating too much fat and salt. Eat heart-healthy food include fruits, vegetables, high-fiber foods, fish, and foods low in sodium, saturated fat and trans fat
- Use of illicit drugs
- Use of birth control pills