HEALTHIER AGING: Heeding TIAs: Stroke's early warning system

May 2006 
Volume 36  Number 5
Pages 20 - 21
  PDF Version Available!


TRANSIENT ISCHEMIC ATTACKS (TIAs), sometimes called ministrokes, are caused by temporary, reversible interruptions in the brain's blood supply. Symptoms may mimic those of stroke except that they last less than 24 hours; in fact, many TIAs last only minutes. After a TIA, the patient recovers completely, with no neurologic deficits.

Teach patients to recognize signs and symptoms of TIAs because they can warn of an impending stroke—the third most common cause of death in industrialized countries. In this article, I'll tell you how to recognize a TIA, what to do for a patient who's had one, and what to teach her to reduce the risk of stroke.

Early warning system

Because an average TIA lasts less than 5 minutes and leaves no residual effects, a patient may shrug it off or attribute it to other causes. But a TIA is a strong predictor of future stroke and shouldn't be ignored. Because more ...

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