The TIA Clinics at Centerpoint Medical Center and Research Medical Center are new programs that have been developed to help patients who have been diagnosed with TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack) or are at risk for stroke. We are dedicated to offering quality care to patients who are at risk of suffering a stroke.
What is a TIA or transient ischemic attack?
According to The American Stroke Association, a TIA is a “warning stroke” or “mini-stroke” that produces stroke-like symptoms but no lasting damage. Recognizing and treating TIAs can reduce your risk of a major stroke. Most strokes aren’t preceded by TIAs; however, of the people who have had one or more TIAs, more than a third will later have a stroke. In fact, a person who’s had one or more TIAs is more likely to have a stroke than someone of the same age and sex who hasn’t. TIAs are important in predicting if a stroke will occur rather than when one will happen. They can occur days, weeks, or even months before a major stroke. In about half the cases, the stroke occurs within one year of the TIA.
What causes TIA?
TIAs occur when a blood clot temporarily clogs an artery and part of the brain doesn’t get the blood it needs. The symptoms occur rapidly and last a relatively short time. Most TIAs last less than five minutes. The average is about one minute. Unlike stroke, when a TIA is over, there’s no injury to the brain.
What are the symptoms of a TIA?
It’s very important to recognize the warning signs of a TIA or a stroke. The usual TIA symptoms are the same as those of stroke, only temporary.
- Sudden numbness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding words
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause
The short duration of these symptoms and the lack of permanent brain injury is the main difference between TIA and stroke. TIAs are extremely important predictors of stroke. Don’t ignore them! If symptoms appear, call 911 to get medical help immediately. A doctor should determine if a TIA or stroke has occurred, or if it’s another medical problem with similar symptoms. Some examples are seizures, fainting, migraine headache or general medical or cardiac condition. Prompt medical attention to these symptoms could prevent a fatal or disabling stroke from occurring.
Why should I choose the TIA Clinics? Can’t my doctor do the same tests for me in the office?
Instead of having to make several visits to multiple locations to get all of your work-up done, the TIA Clinics provide a one-stop service for almost all TIA patients. All of the testing required for TIA patients and consults by a cerebrovascular neurologist, nutritionist, and social worker if required, can be provided in one location on the same day. Results of all your tests and the neurology consult will then be gathered, reviewed and sent back to your primary care provider to formulate the best treatment plan for you.
Visiting the TIA Clinic
- Medical work-ups at the TIA Clinic are thorough and require six to eight hours to complete. Patients should plan to be in the clinic until at least 4 p.m. Meals will be provided to patients in the clinic.
- Patients should not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before their appointment.
- Patients or their health care provider can call the TIA Clinic to schedule an appointment. The clinic accepts most major healthcare plans and each visit will be pre-certified with your insurance company.
For more information about the TIA Clinics or to find out how to make an appointment, please call 1-877-456-7979.