Symptoms of a transient ischaemic attack (TIA) or mini-stroke


Q: I am 28 years old, and today at work all of a sudden I got light headed, had trouble seeing in my right side, my right hand went numb, and I had slurred speech with trouble even comprehending anyone. I tried to speek, but everytime it was like I was talking giberish, I wasn't even making sense. This has happened before about 6 months ago, but not a severe. I have no idea what is wrong, or even what kind of doctor to go to? Is this a stroke of some kind?


A:   The symptoms you describe are highly suggestive of a transient ischaemic attack (TIA) or mini-stroke. Transient ischemic attack is defined as a transient episode of neurologic dysfunction caused by focal brain, spinal cord, or retinal ischemia (restriction in blood supply). Because this is transient by definition there is no residual brain damage, and symptoms should have completely resolved in 24 hours. Please attend the emergency room immediately for further investigation and treatment. TIA and stroke are rare in someone of your age group but not unheard of; therefore I advise urgent medical attention to reach a definitive diagnosis.

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