Is it a TIA or a Stroke? | Hutchinson Regional Healthcare System
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Is it a TIA or a Stroke?

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X-ray from left side of the head with a red affected area

A transient ischemic attack (TIA) is a transient episode of neurologic dysfunction caused by ischemia (loss of blood flow) – either focal brain, spinal cord or retinal – without acute infarction (tissue death). TIAs have the same underlying systems of a stroke however the symptoms can go away after a few minutes. When a TIA occurs there is a disruption of cerebral blood flow and are frequently referred to as mini-strokes.

TIA and strokes cause the same symptoms such a paralysis on (opposite side of body from affected brain hemisphere) or sudden weakness or numbness. A TIA may cause sudden dimming or loss of vision (amaurosis fugax), aphasia, slurred speech (dysarthria) and mental confusion. Unlike a stroke these symptoms usually clear up in 24 hours or less. If you have a TIA be sure to call your doctor right away as this is usually a precursor to a stroke or a silent stroke.

Signs and Symptoms of Aphasia

Aphasia is a communication disorder that results from damage to the parts of the brain that contain language (typically in the left half of the brain). Individuals who experience damage to the right side of the brain may have additional difficulties like speech and language issues. Aphasia may cause difficulties with speaking, listening and reading; and also can affect writing at times but it does not affect intelligence. It is most commonly caused by a stroke, however, it can be caused by other diseases and damage to the part of the brain that affects language. Some of the most common symptoms which vary based on the location and extent of brain damage are slurred speech and incoherent conversations. Many people will substitute an intended word that is unrelated because they are incoherent, such as substituting the word chicken for the word fish. Those suffering from this condition may also misunderstand people when they speak quickly or in long sentences. There are various types of treatment for aphasia. Contact your local physician to learn more and set goals for recovery.