Difference Between TIA and Stroke

Heart diseases can be fatal at times and everyone must be aware of symptoms of certain critical conditions a heart patient might suffer. There are several conditions when a patient might feel like having a heart attack but it might possibly be not the case. You should be able to distinguish between a TIA (transient ischemic attack) and a stroke so that you can treat the patient appropriately. These two conditions might appear to be similar but there are some vital differences which separate them from one another.

TIA is actually a transient period of neurologic dysfunction which happens due to loss of blood flow but without acute death of tissues. It normally occurs when blood vessels are blocked and prevent the delivery of oxygen to certain parts of the brain. TIA is also considered to be type of stroke but there are significant differences between the two.

A stroke happens when the blood supply to the brain is disturbed and it results in rapid loss of brain function. Mostly a stroke occurs when blood supply is occluded to neural tissues and one or more limbs become motionless at one side of the body, tongue becomes non-functional and even eyes may become unable to see one side of the visual field.


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    A patient suffering from TIA needs immediate medical attention and has to be taken to the nearby hospital. Mild TIA can last for few hours but the severe ones can be fatal. Normally, TIA lasts for about 5 minutes and the patient doesn’t suffer from a long-lasting cognitive or physiological damages. The blockage in the blood vessels is temporary and it cuts the supply of oxygen to some brain parts for a limited time period. Medical experts also say that a person who experiences a TIA is most probable to suffer a stroke with a couple of years.

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    In a stroke, the blood supply to certain brain parts is cut off due to blockage and it can further lead to significant damage. If the blood supply remains diminished for a longer period of time, the neutral brain tissues start to die. The blockage can result in blood clotting and the surrounding tissues might get disrupted or chocked off. The damaging effects of a stroke might for significant time period and even permanent non-functioning of certain body parts may occur. The symptoms of a stroke are pretty much the same as TIA, which include sudden problems in speech and comprehension, vision trouble, loss of strength in arms, legs and face, and difficulty in balancing while walking.

    Image Courtesy: drugline.org

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