A transient ischemic attack (TIA) is a stroke that comes and goes quickly. It happens when the blood supply to part of the brain stops briefly. Symptoms of a TIA are like other stroke symptoms, but do not last as long. They happen suddenly, and include
- Numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body
- Confusion or trouble speaking or understanding speech
- Trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Loss of balance or coordination
Most symptoms of a TIA disappear within an hour, although they may last for up to 24 hours. Because you cannot tell if these symptoms are from a TIA or a stroke, you should get to the hospital quickly.
TIAs are often a warning sign for future strokes. Taking medicine, such as blood thinners, may reduce your risk of a stroke. Your doctor might also recommend surgery.
NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
- Carotid Ultrasound (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) -- Head (Radiological Society of North America, American College of Radiology) Available in Spanish
- Stroke Risk Factors and Symptoms (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke) Available in Spanish
- Stroke Warning Signs (American Stroke Association)
Treatments and Therapies
- MedlinePlus: Blood Thinners (National Library of Medicine) Available in Spanish
- Non-Surgical Procedures Open Blocked Arteries to Prevent and Treat Stroke (Society of Interventional Radiology)
- Healthy Living after Stroke (American Stroke Association)
- Mini-Stroke vs. Regular Stroke: What's the Difference? (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Transient Ischemic Attack (American Heart Association)
Statistics and Research
- Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics 2014 Update (American Heart Association)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Ischemic Attack, Transient (National Institutes of Health)
Journal ArticlesReferences and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Asymptomatic atrial fibrillation after cryptogenetic stroke: incidence, clinical significance, and...
- Article: Early magnetic resonance imaging in transient ischaemic attack and minor...
- Article: Four-year follow-up of transient ischemic attacks, strokes, and mimics: a...
- Transient Ischemic Attack -- see more articles
Find an Expert
- American Heart Association
- Find a Stroke Care Center Near You (American Stroke Association)
- National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Available in Spanish
- National Stroke Association