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Do Not Ignore the Signs of Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)

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Do Not Ignore the Signs of Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)

Dr Manoj Khanal
Senior Consultant
Neurosciences, Neurology

Dr. Manoj Khanal says, "TIA happens when an artery in the brain gets clogged and reopens on its own".

To check the signs of the Stroke, just remember the word “FAST”:

  • FACE: Does the person's face look uneven or droop on one side?
  • ARM: Does the person have weakness or numbness in one or both arms?
  • SPEECH: Is the person having trouble speaking?
  • TIME: If you notice any of these stroke signs, even if they go away.

It is important to treat TIA like an emergency since people suffering from it, are at an increased risk of developing recurrent stroke. After TIA, 42% are likely to have stroke within 24 hours of occurrence, and 4-10% within 48 hours. There is also enough evidence that early recognition, immediate evaluation and treatment of TIAs reduces risk of recurrent stroke.

Is there any initial evaluation required?

The initial evaluation of suspected TIA includes brain and neurovascular imaging, and hematologic causes of neurologic symptoms.

  • Basic blood tests
  • Scanning of brain and its blood vessels and
  • Evaluation of heart

Also, our doctor will look for and exclude other neurological diseases that may be a cause for a mini stroke.

Patients are subjected to imaging of brain like CT or MRI as well as imaging of blood vessels of brain to look for presence of major blockage in blood supply in affected territory. The patients with suspension of cardiac cause of TIA like irregular heart rhythm, poor cardiac function are subjected to echocardiography and prolonged holter (heart rhythm) monitoring.

What are the Treatment options?

The treatment of TIA includes:

  • Optimum Treatment of hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • High Cholesterol
  • Smoking
  • Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables
  • Consuming low fat diary products
  • Low salt diet
  • Less refined grains (such as white bread or white rice)
  • Doing 30 minutes of exercise everyday

Another way to prevent stroke is to have a surgery to reopen the clogged arteries in the neck.

Therefore, it is important to manage the risk factors in order to reduce the recurrence of stroke. Currently viable strategies include managing blood pressure, antiplatelet therapy and lifestyle modifications.