Symptoms of Transient Ischemic Attack


General information about symptoms of Transient Ischemic Attack: The symptom information on this page attempts to provide a list of some possible symptoms of Transient Ischemic Attack. This symptom information has been gathered from various sources, may not be fully accurate, and may not be the full list of symptoms of Transient Ischemic Attack. Furthermore, symptoms of Transient Ischemic Attack may vary on an individual basis for each patient. Only your doctor can provide adequate diagnosis of symptoms and whether they are indeed symptoms of Transient Ischemic Attack.

List of symptoms of Transient Ischemic Attack: The list of symptoms mentioned in various sources for Transient Ischemic Attack includes:

Symptoms of Transient Ischemic Attack: TIA symptoms, which usually occur suddenly, are similar to those of stroke but do not last as long. Most symptoms of a TIA disappear within an hour, although they may persist for up to 24 hours. Symptoms can include: numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body; confusion or difficulty in talking or understanding speech; trouble seeing in one or both eyes; and difficulty with walking, dizziness, or loss of balance and coordination. 1

A stroke happens when part of your brain is not getting enough blood and stops working. Depending on the part of the brain that is damaged, a stroke can cause

  • Sudden weakness or numbness of your face, arm, or leg on one side of your body.

  • Sudden confusion, trouble talking, or trouble understanding.

  • Sudden dizziness, loss of balance, or trouble walking.

  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes or sudden double vision.

  • Sudden severe headache.

Sometimes, one or more of these warning signs may happen and then disappear. You might be having a "mini-stroke," also called a TIA (transient [TRAN-see-unt] ischemic [is-KEE-mik] attack). If you have any of these warning signs, tell your doctor right away.2

Mild to moderate headaches are associated with transient ischemic attacks (TIA's), sometimes called "mini-strokes,"which result from a temporary lack of blood supply to the brain. The head pain occurs near the clot or lesion that blocks blood flow. The similarity between migraine and symptoms of TIA can cause problems in diagnosis. The rare person under age 40 who suffers a TIA may be misdiagnosed as having migraine; similarly, TIA-prone older patients who suffer migraine may be misdiagnosed as having stroke-related headaches.3

Sometimes the warning signs last for only a few minutes and then disappear. This could be a mini-stroke, called a transient ischemic attack (TIA). Although they don't last long, TIAs are a symptom of a medical problem. Don't ignore a TIA - see your doctor right away.4

More symptoms of Transient Ischemic Attack: In addition to the above information, to get a full picture of the possible symptoms of this condition and its related conditions, it may be necessary to examine symptoms that may be caused by complications of Transient Ischemic Attack, underlying causes of Transient Ischemic Attack, associated conditions for Transient Ischemic Attack, risk factors for Transient Ischemic Attack, or other related conditions.

Medical articles on symptoms: These general reference articles may be of interest:

1. excerpt from NINDS Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) Information Page: NINDS
2. excerpt from Keep your heart and blood vessels healthy: NIDDK
3. excerpt from Headache - Hope Through Research: NINDS
4. excerpt from Stroke Prevention and Treatment - Age Page - Health Information: NIA

Last revision: June 23, 2003

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