You are currently viewing University of São Paulo: With similar symptoms, Transient Ischemic Attack is a warning for stroke threat

University of São Paulo: With similar symptoms, Transient Ischemic Attack is a warning for stroke threat

  • Post author:
  • Post category:Uncategorized

Out of nowhere, a person begins to have difficulty speaking, moving around, thoughts are confused. However, these symptoms are not always a stroke (Cerebral Vascular Accident), but they can be a TIA ( Transient Ischemic Attack), as explained by Cesar Castello Branco Lopes, neurologist at Hospital das Clínicas, Faculdade de Medicina da USP: “The TIA is an acronym that refers to Transient Ischemic Attack, which is a subtype of stroke, that is, Cerebral Vascular Accident, which are diseases caused by problems in the blood circulation of the brain”. When talking about stroke, it should be mentioned that there are two main types: hemorrhagic and ischemic.

“In hemorrhagic strokes, we have ruptured arteries that lead to bleeding inside the brain and, in the case of the ischemic subtype, we are talking about clogging of that artery, an obstruction to the flow of a certain artery. Whenever we talk about a TIA, we are talking about an ischemic subtype, that is, TIAs are caused by an interruption in the blood flow of a cerebral vessel, a clogging of an artery. This clogging, this blood obstruction, leads to a lack of oxygen and the lack of oxygen leads to a compromised brain function”, says Lopes.

spontaneous reversal

The expert adds that the Transient Ischemic Attack has spontaneous reversal, hence the reason why it is called transient. “ This blockage of the artery improves spontaneously and the patient does not have neurological sequelae. The duration of this event can vary from minutes to a few hours. In the case of stroke, this obstruction of blood flow does not improve spontaneously, so the patient has neurological sequelae if he is not treated in time.” But how should we act in case of suspected TIA?

“When we are faced with a person who presents with any symptom or sign suggestive of a compromise, of a brain function problem, we must think that he may be having a TIA or a stroke. What symptoms are these? Difficulty speaking, difficulty communicating, weakness and loss of sensitivity in a body region, loss of vision, vertigo, sudden dizziness that makes it difficult to walk, that is, having difficulty with balance and coordination. These symptoms are suggestive of a brain problem. So, in the face of these symptoms, it is important that this person is taken to a hospital as soon as possible. The symptoms of TIA, ischemic stroke or hemorrhagic stroke are the same, we cannot differentiate if the person is going to have a TIA, if he is going to have an ischemic stroke or even a hemorrhagic stroke, with bleeding inside the brain, before she is taken to the hospital”, warns the specialist, before adding that one should not wait for the symptoms to improve. This means that the faster the medical evaluation, the better. Delay in treatment may increase the risk of sequelae.

Investigation of the causes
When you suffer from a TIA, a complete investigation is carried out to discover the cause of the problem and, in this way, prevent further neurological events. Tests are performed in order to try to find the cause that led to the interruption of cerebral blood flow. “In the acute phase, we can use medications to prevent new events, such as antiplatelet agents, such as AAS, for example, but we know that the most effective treatment is to treat the cause of the TIA. Some patients may have procedures or surgeries to treat the cause of the stroke, one example is surgery, aimed at treating plaque in the arteries in the neck, which can sometimes cause the stroke or TIA.”

It is estimated that one in four people will have a stroke in their lifetime. For this reason, it is very important to raise awareness on the subject and on how to know how to act in a risk situation. Lopes adds: “ The risk factors related to TIA are many, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, high cholesterol and obesity. Heart problems and arrhythmias can also increase a person’s risk of having a TIA. It is possible to prevent the disease through treatment, control of these medical conditions, control of risk factors and also through health promotion and lifestyle changes”.