Transient Ischemic Attack





Transient ischemic attack (TIA) is a neurologic condition that is thought of as a mini-stroke or a warning sign that a person is likely to have a full-blown stroke or cerebrovascular accident (CVA). This condition presents nearly the same symptoms as a stroke, but it is only temporary and lasts only for a couple of minutes without any permanent damage.

A transient ischemic attack, despite being a temporary condition, should be taken seriously as it is a warning of possible events that can happen. This condition also gives the affected individual the opportunity to prevent the likely occurrence of a cerebrovascular accident.



Transient ischemic attacks are usually caused by a blood clot (embolus) that blocks an artery in the brain. This is quite similar to what happens in a stroke. The only upside in this condition is that it is temporary, being that the obstruction happens only for a short period.

Atherosclerosis, the buildup of fatty deposits called plaques in the arteries (especially in the brain), is considered as the underlying cause for transient ischemic attacks. The accumulation of plaque can either decrease the blood flow of the blood vessel, or it can lead to the development of blood clots, which can in turn be the reason for the transient ischemic attack. The clot, however, can come from another part of the body (like the heart) and brought to the brain through the blood supply.

There are predisposing and precipitating factors for the occurrence of transient ischemic attacks and cerebrovascular accidents. Predisposing factors are the ones that do not have control over. Examples of this are: family history, sex, age, race, and event of prior ischemic attack.  Precipitating factors, on the other hand, are the risk factors that you can easily manage or control to prevent unfortunate events from happening; among these are health conditions such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, existence of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity; and lifestyle choices such as cigarette smoking, poor nutrition, heavy drinking, physical inactivity, hormonal therapy, and drug abuse.


Signs and Symptoms

Since TIAs usually last only for a few moments, the signs and symptoms for this condition also disappear within a short period of time. The signs and symptoms of TIA are also similar to that of a CVA; however, the onset is sudden and brief:

  • Loss of balance or coordination;
  • Dizziness;
  • Slurred speech or difficulty in speaking;
  • Confusion;
  • Weakness, tingling, or numbness of the face and/or in one side of the body; and
  • Double vision or temporary loss of sign in one or both eyes.



Transient ischemic attacks are managed with the hopes of preventing the future occurrence of a stroke. The treatment method (medication, therapy, etc.) are contingent to the exact cause of the TIA.

Medications that prevent the occurrence of blood clots, lower blood cholesterol levels, maintain ideal blood pressure, and manage chronic conditions that precipitate the occurrence of TIA are prescribed to the affected individual.

Aside from the medical management, a change in the lifestyle of the patient (exercise and diet) should also be in order. This is to improve the health condition and to prevent further eventualities of TIA and/or CVA.


Disability Tax Credits for Transient Ischemic Attack

Experiencing a transient ischemic attack can be a ticket to a full-blown stroke. Even when you have taken the necessary precautions to prevent it fromoccurring, there is always that nagging worry at the back of your head as to what can possibly happen to you. Take your worry level down a notch by applying for disability tax credits from the Canadian Revenue Agency. Call on HandyTax now so you can be on your way to getting a disability certificate from your physician and possibly a disability tax refund.