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Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)


Transient ischemic attack (TIA) is a temporary interruption of the blood flow to an area of the brain. A TIA is a warning sign that a stroke may soon follow.

A clot in an artery, a drop in blood pressure, or a change in heart rhythm or rate may all reduce blood flow to the brain and result in a TIA.

Symptoms of a TIA are similar to those of a stroke. They may include:

  • Sudden numbness, tingling, weakness, or loss of movement in your face, arm, or leg, especially on only one side of your body.
  • Sudden vision changes.
  • Sudden trouble speaking.
  • Sudden confusion or trouble understanding simple statements.
  • Sudden problems with walking or balance.
  • A sudden, severe headache that is different from past headaches.

Unlike a stroke, a TIA does not cause lasting symptoms. Symptoms usually go away after 10 to 20 minutes.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerRichard D. Zorowitz, MD - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Last RevisedSeptember 19, 2011

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

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