The assumption that TIAs are simply mild ischemic strokes is widespread and thus, they are often referred to as mini-strokes. TIAs are thought to occur when a blood clot temporarily clogs an artery, blocking blood flow to the brain. The symptoms are the same as for stroke but are temporary. Most of them last less than five minutes. Unlike stroke, TIA doesnt permanently injure the brain.
Although most strokes are not preceded by TIAs, more than one-third of people who have had one or more TIAs will later have a stroke, according to American Stroke Association statistics.
A team of Danish researchers noticed that some patients seemed to experience a cluster of TIAs with the same symptoms indicating that the same part of the brain is affected. In addition, the deficits in speech and motor ability that were observed sometimes reflected that large areas of the brain were involved. However, because they were TIAs, the events left no permanent disability. So, they began looking for possible differences in the causes of TIAs and stroke.
It was hard for us to believe that those events were caused by blood clots forming and dissolving in the same part of the brain again and again, explains lead researcher Tom S. Olsen, M.D., Ph.D., chairman of the department of neurology, Gentofte University Hospital in Hellerup, Denmark.
They used data from the community-based prospective Copenhagen Stroke Study to compare the risk factor profiles and short- and long-term outcomes of 154 individuals who had TIAs with 482 who had experienced mild strokes.
If TIAs are just
Contact: Bridgette McNeill or Carole Bullock
American Heart Association