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Dr Gareth: Casebook A-Z: T is for Transient Ischaemic Attack.


A TRANSIENT ischemic attack (TIA) is an injury to the brain caused by a temporary interruption in its blood supply.

A TIA is like a stroke, except that it lasts only a brief time. During a transient ischaemic attack, there is a lack of blood flow to a portion of the brain.

This causes symptoms in the body depending on the part of the brain that is affected.

A TIA can last up to 24 hours but typical TIAs last less than 30 minutes and the person remains conscious.

Transient ischaemic attacks are caused by a temporary interruption of the blood flow to brain cells.

Since a TIA is a short-term type of stroke, the risk factors for stroke apply to TIAs as well.

These include, high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, asymptomatic carotid stenosis, which is the narrowing of one of the arteries in the neck, and high cholesterol.

Low levels of HDL or "good cholesterol" are also cause for concern, as is atrial fibrillation, also known as an abnormal heart rhythm.

Most people with TIA are treated right away with aspirin and then with blood thinners if they do not have bleeding into the brain.

Blood thinners help prevent further TIAs or strokes. Any underlying risk factor is also identified and treated
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Dec 4, 2005
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