Five important facts about transient ischemic attacks (TIA)


A Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA), also known as a “mini-stroke,” may actually be a warning sign for a future stroke. We asked Chris Streib, MD, MS, Cerebrovascular Director at M Health Fairview, for more information.

A stroke is a crippling and life-altering event. It frequently strikes without warning and can cause permanent brain damage.

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However, in approximately 12% of cases, there is a warning in the form of a transient ischemic attack, or TIA. A TIA, also known as a “mini-stroke,” is a temporary blockage of blood flow to the brain that is similar to a stroke. In terms of signs and symptoms, TIAs resemble strokes, but they are only temporary. To put it another way,
They do, however, serve as a warning sign that a person is in danger of having a major stroke and should seek immediate medical attention. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one person dies from a stroke every four minutes in the United States, and stroke is a leading cause of long-term disability.

We asked Christopher Streib, MD, MS, Cerebrovascular Director at M Health Fairview, to tell us five things we should know about TIAs and how seeking treatment right away can help prevent a catastrophic stroke.

A TIA has the appearance and feel of a stroke but causes no permanent damage.
A TIA, like a stroke, occurs when a blood vessel blockage prevents blood from flowing to part of the brain. Unlike a stroke, TIA symptoms do not last long and usually resolve within 24 hours. A TIA does not cause permanent brain damage or long-term neurologic problems. It does, however, share many of the same signs and symptoms as a stroke.

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