Symptoms of a resemble those of a , occur rapidly, and last for a few minutes.
Symptoms may include the following:
- Weakness, numbness, or paralysis of the face, arms, or leg, especially on one side of your body
- Difficulty talking, slurred speech, or difficulty understanding others
- Difficulty seeing from one or both eyes or double vision
- Dizziness or loss of balance or coordination
- Trouble walking
- Severe headache (less common)
If you experience more than one TIA, you may experience similar or different symptoms, depending on which area of the brain is involved.
Diagnosis of TIA
If you or someone you know experiences any of the above symptoms, seek medical treatment immediately.
Because a TIA is over quickly and most likely passed by the time you get medical care, your doctor may diagnose it based on your recall of the event rather than on anything found during a general physical and neurological exam.
To uncover the cause of your TIA and assess your risk of stroke, your doctor may perform the following:
Physical exam:During an exam, your doctor may order tests to check for risk factors of stroke, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, diabetes, and high levels of the amino acid homocysteine.
He or she may also use a stethoscope to detect plaque build-up in the arteries (atherosclerosis).
An eye exam may also allow your doctor to see cholesterol fragments or blood vessel abnormalities in your retina.
Carotid ultrasonography:In order to look for narrowing or clotting in your carotid arteries, a radiology technician can use a wand-like device to send high-frequency sound waves into your neck and deliver images on a screen.
Computerized tomography (CT) scanning:CT scans can provide a 3-D look at your brain.
Computerized tomography angiography (CTA) scanning:While CTA scanning uses X-rays similar to a standard CT scan, it may also include injecting a contrast material into a blood vessel.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI):By using a magnetic field, an MRI can generate a 3-D view of your brain.
Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA):By using a strong magnetic field similar to MRI, this test evaluates the arteries in your neck and brain.
Echocardiography:A transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE) allows a radiology technician to run an instrument across your chest that emits sound waves that echo off different parts of your heart, creating an ultrasound image.
Another procedure, a transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE), allows a probe to go through your esophagus.
Since the esophagus is behind your heart, your doctor may be able to get better images of blood clots, which might not be seen clearly in a TTE.
Arteriography:By inserting a thin, flexible tube through a small incision (usually in your groin), a radiologist is able to see images of arteries in your brain that aren't usually seen in X-rays.
Video: What is a TIA? Is it a stroke? Mayo Clinic on Transient Ischemic Attacks
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