A transient ischemic attack (TIA) or mini-stroke is brief and might not get your attention the way a major stroke would. Don’t ignore your symptoms just because they go away. Treatment now could prevent a severe and disabling stroke in your near future — and even save your life.
The team at the HCA Midwest Health Neuroscience Institute at Research Medical Center has the specialized training and experience necessary to recognize a TIA and its after-effects so treatment can begin promptly. We can also make sure you get the right care if a TIA has been diagnosed.
Our outpatient TIA Clinic is the only one in the area offered five days per week. Instead of having to make several visits to different locations, the TIA Clinic can take care of all your testing — in most cases, in one day and at one location. Our clinic provides access to a cerebrovascular neurologist, nutritionist and social worker, if needed. Results of all your tests and our findings will be sent back to your primary care doctor, and we will work together to create a treatment plan just for you.
Stroke Warning Signs - BE FAST!
- Balance unstable
- Eye sight blurry
- Facial weakness
- Arm weakness
- Speech slurred
- Time is Critical. Call 911!
It’s impossible to tell if symptoms will become a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or a stroke. Don’t take chances. Call 911. Do not drive yourself and get to the nearest emergency room immediately.ER Locations
TIA stands for transient ischemic attack. Sometimes called a mini-stroke, a TIA can serve as a warning that you need to take steps to prevent a major stroke. A TIA happens when a blood clot temporarily clogs an artery and part of the brain doesn’t get the blood it needs. The symptoms occur rapidly and briefly. Most TIAs last less than five minutes, and the average is about one minute. Unlike stroke, when a TIA is over, there’s no injury to the brain.
The symptoms of a TIA are the same as for stroke, only temporary. Classic symptoms include:
- Numbness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
- Confusion, trouble speaking or understanding words
- Trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Severe headache
Women’s symptoms may not be as clear and can include:
- Loss of consciousness or fainting
- General weakness
- Difficulty or shortness of breath
- Confusion, unresponsiveness or disorientation
- Sudden behavioral change
- Nausea or vomiting
When you come to us showing signs or after-effects of a TIA, our specialists will perform:
- Neurological exams.
- Blood tests.
- Electrocardiogram (ECG, EKG). This test records the heart's activity by measuring electrical currents through the heart muscle.
- Brain and blood vessel imaging. Imaging techniques may include:
- Computed tomography (CT) – a type of X-ray that uses a computer to make pictures of the brain
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) – a test that uses magnetic waves to make pictures of the brain
- Ultrasonography – a test that uses sound waves to examine the brain
Depending on your situation, you may also need:
- Arteriography (angiography). This procedure uses a catheter placed in a blood vessel in the groin and threaded up to the brain to show arteries in the brain
- Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA). MRA shows brain blood vessels by mapping blood flow
- CT angiogram (CTA). CTA uses a CT scanner and can give images of the blood vessels inside the brain after a dye is injected into the veins
- Functional MRI. This technique shows brain activity by picking up signals from oxygenated blood
- Doppler ultrasound. This test uses high-frequency sound waves to show narrowing of the arteries supplying the brain and evaluates flow of blood in brain
- Echocardiography. This test uses high-frequency sound waves (ultrasound) to examine the size, shape and motion of the heart to show if the clot comes from one of the heart's chambers
If you have a TIA, you may be at high risk of an imminent stroke. You might need to stay at the hospital for immediate treatment. Your treatment will probably include taking aspirin or another medicine and possibly having surgery to reopen or widen your arteries
To help reduce your risk of a stroke, you may also need to:
- Reduce blood pressure. High blood pressure is the most common risk factor for stroke, by eating a healthy diet and taking medicine
- Control diabetes. If you have diabetes, keep your blood sugar levels in a target range. You may need to take medicine or insulin. Eating right and getting plenty of exercise will also help.
- Quit smoking. If you smoke, we’ll talk to you about how we can help you quit and may refer you to resources to make it easier.
Learning all you can about TIA and stroke can help you understand your risks and take steps to prevent future problems. Here are some good places to start:
- TIA Clinic brochure
- TIA and other videos from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association
- Medline Plus from the National Institutes of Health and the National Library of Medicine
- National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
- Pubmed Health from the National Library of Medicine