Transient Ischemic Attack

Below you will find more information about Transient Ischemic Attack from Medigest. If you believe that you are suffering from any of the symptoms of Transient Ischemic Attack it is important that you obtain an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional to ensure that you obtain the correct medication or treatment for your condition. There are medical conditions that carry similar symptoms associated with Transient Ischemic Attack and therefore the information provided by Medigest is offered as a guideline only and should never be used in preference to seeking professional medical advice. The information relating to Transient Ischemic Attack comes from a third party source and Medigest will not be held liable for any inaccuracies relating to the information shown.

Definition

Transient ischemic attack is a temporary or intermittent neurological event, which serves as a warning of an impending stroke.

Diagnosis

Based on the patient's medical history of the attack, the doctor may diagnose the condition. A physical examination of some individuals may also reveal evidence suggesting the presence of arterial plaques. The doctor may hear a sound over the carotid artery in the neck. During an eye examination, the doctor may see through an ophthalmoscope cholesterol fragments in the tiny blood vessels of the retina or at the back of the eye. The patient may also undergo certain tests to diagnose the cause of the attack. Such tests may include carotid ultrasonography, computerized tomography angiography scanning, magnetic resonance imaging, magnetic resonance angiography, transesophageal echocardiography, and arteriography.

Treatment

Treating the attack is focused on correcting the abnormality and preventing a stroke. The doctor may prescribe certain medication depending on the cause of the attack. The medication reduces the tendency for a blood clot. The doctor may also recommend surgery or a balloon procedure when necessary.

Symptoms and Signs

Most signs and symptoms resemble those found early in a stroke but do not last longer than 24 hours. They may include sudden weakness, numbness, or paralysis in the face, arm or leg, typically on one side of the body; slurred or garbled speech or difficulty understanding others; sudden blindness in one or both eyes or double vision; and dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.

Causes

The attack is mainly caused by a temporary decrease of blood supply to a part of the brain. Its underlying cause is the buildup of cholesterol-containing fatty deposits in an artery, which decreases the blood flow or may lead to clot development. A blood clot that moves from another part of the body to the brain also causes an attack.

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