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What Are the After Effects of a TIA Stroke?

by
author image Jacques Courseault
As a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician I have extensive experience in musculoskeletal/neurological medicine that will benefit the network.
What Are the After Effects of a TIA Stroke?
A patient is laying in a hospital bed. Photo Credit monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images

Overview

A TIA, or transient ischemic attack, is similar to a stroke, but symptoms resolve in a few minutes to 24 hours. TIAs are often referred to as ministrokes, but may be warning signs of a future stroke. MayoClinic.com states that one in three people who have a TIA will eventually have a stroke. A patient who has experienced a TIA should be aware of the after effects because similar symptoms may occur again at a later time.

Confusion

A patient may experience continuing confusion after a TIA stroke, states Medline Plus, of the National Institutes of Health. A TIA stroke involves a temporary blockage of a blood vessel in the brain. Within a few minutes or hours, the blood vessel reopens and blood is allowed to flow to areas that were temporarily blocked. A patient that is experiencing confusion likely had a blood vessel blocked in the part of the brain that is responsible for alertness and clarity. After a TIA, a patient may not remember having a TIA or may be confused about the environment he is in once the TIA resolves. For example, the patient may not understand why he is in the hospital or what happened to him. Thus, it is important for physicians, medical staff and family members to tell the patient what happened so that he can become oriented to the environment.

Muscle Weakness

Muscle weakness may occur after a TIA has resolved. Although a patient may experience muscle weakness on one side of the body, she may continue to experience weakness after the TIA stroke. This occurs because a blood vessel in the part of the brain that is responsible for muscle movement was affected during the stroke. After the TIA clears, the patient may have continuing weakness, notably when walking or standing. Thus, muscle strength should be properly assessed before a patient is discharged from the hospital. Furthermore, future episodes of muscle weakness require immediate medical treatment.

Emotional Changes

Emotional changes may occur after a TIA stroke in some patients. A TIA itself may affect the part of the brain that is responsible for emotions. After the TIA resolves, a patient may become worried or depressed about the risks of having a future stroke. Therefore, the risks of having a future stroke should be discussed with a physician, so that the patient is aware of the real odds. Furthermore, a physician and other medical staff should counsel the patient on the proper steps to take to prevent a future stroke from occurring. If a patient remains depressed, a consultation with a psychiatrist may be necessary.

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