Transient Ischemic Attack
Pronounced: trans-EE-ent isk-EE-mik uh-takEn Español (Spanish Version)
Transient ischemic attack (TIA) is a temporary dysfunction of the brain due to a shortage of blood and oxygen. A TIA lasts no longer than 24 hours. It is sometimes referred to as a mini-stroke.
TIA is a serious condition. It serves as a warning for a potential stroke.
Blood Supply to the Brain
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Blood and oxygen are carried to the brain through major blood vessels in the neck. The blood then passes through a series of blood vessels in the brain. A TIA occurs when the blood flow through the neck or brain vessels is reduced. The blood flow may be reduced by a narrowing or blockage of the blood vessels.
Narrowing of the blood vessels may occur with:
- Build up of plaque in the blood vessels, called atherosclerosis
- Vasculitis—swelling of the blood vessels
Blood vessels can also become blocked or obstructed by a clot or clump that is floating in the blood. This may be caused by:
Last reviewedJuly 2013by Rimas Lukas, MD; Brian Randall, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.