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A Few Facts About TIAs
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Richard C Senelick, MD posted:
A stroke doesn't always just come out of nowhere. Warning signs can be recognized and treated before a full-fledged stroke occurs—if you know how to read them.

Fact: only 15 percent of stroke patients have a history of transient ischemic attacks (TIAs).

Fact: the symptoms of TIAs are frequently ignored by the patient.

Fact: these symptoms usually develop rapidly and frequently disappear within fifteen minutes.

Fact: If an MRI scan is performed, it will show that one third of TIA patients actually have had a stroke.

Fact: 20 percent of people who have TIAs will have a full-fledged stroke within ten years, unless their symptoms are treated.

Fact: only a small percentage of the population is educated enough about strokes to recognize a stroke when it occurs.

All these facts point to one bottom line: if recognized and treated, TIAs can prevent a full-fledged stroke from taking place. But note the crucial phrase: "if recognized and treated." Unfortunately, diagnosing a TIA is easier said than done. Although getting immediate help and seeking immediate medical attention is paramount, most people who suffer a stroke do not seek help until they've had their symptoms for more than eight hours.

It's up to you to make that first step, to understand when your body is in danger, and to reach out for medical care.
To that end, here's a brief lesson in transient ischemic attacks, the powerful warnings that, if heeded, might stop tragedy before it begins.

Symptoms of TIA and Stroke: The Short List
  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
After your stroke you may be experiencing a new normal, but remember what George Eliot said- It is never too late to be what you might have been. You still can achieve new goals.
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Richard C. Senelick M.D. is a physician specializing in both neurology and the subspecialty of neurorehabilitation. He did his undergraduate and medic...More

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