Transitory Ischemic Attack


Definition

tiaIt is a neurological disorder manifested through paralysis, sudden loss of speech and which disappear in less than 24 hours. The main cause is represented by the occlusion of a cerebral vessel by a blood clot, which then dissolves spontaneously. This clot can either form on the spot, when the arteries are in poor state due to an existing condition (diabetes, smoking, hypertension) or comes from an artery in the neck (carotid artery) and ascends to the brain, where it remains stuck in an artery with a smaller diameter. This clot can also come from the heart when the valves are damaged or when the heart beats irregularly.

It represents about 20% of all strokes.

Symptomatology

It is manifested through the appearance of paralysis or a speech disorder, with sudden onset, which disappears rapidly (average 10-20 minutes), with an almost complete recovery.

Investigation

Computed tomography is of maximum utility to exclude a brain hemorrhage. Also, hospitalization which consists of a carotid Doppler examination, an echocardiogram, an electrocardiogram and blood clotting status investigation.

Evolution and complications

There is a risk of a new accident the following months or years, during which the signs will not regress. This risk is estimated at 25% within the first 5 years after the initial accident.

Treatment

Blood thinning drugs will be prescribed, which allow fluidification of the blood, dissolving of the clots and avoiding the formation of new clots. Meaning heparin, aspirin, clopidogrel.

Prevention

Preventing the risk factors of altering the arteries (diabetes, smoking, hypertension) is vital. When the carotid arteries are in poor condition (narrowing by plaque), it is required to surgically unclog them(endarterectomy).


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