When blood flow to part of the brain stops for a short period of time, also called transient ischemic attack (TIA), it can mimic stroke-likesymptoms. These symptoms appear and last less than 24 hours before disappearing. While TIAs generally do not cause permanent brain damage, they are a serious warning sign that a stroke may happen in the future and should not be ignored. Transient ischemic attacks usually last a few minutes. Most signs and symptoms disappear within an hour. The signs and symptoms of TIA resemble those found early in a stroke and may include sudden onset of: Slurred or garbled speech or difficulty understanding others A transient ischemic attack has the same origins as that of an ischemic stroke, the most common type of stroke. In an ischemic stroke, a clot blocks the blood supply to part of your brain.
In a transient ischemic attack, unlike a stroke, the blockage is brief, and there is no permanent damage. If you have a moderately or severely narrowed neck (carotid) artery, your doctor may suggest carotid endarterectomy (end-ahr-tur-EK-tuh-me). This preventive surgery clears carotid arteries of fatty deposits (atherosclerotic plaques) before another TIA or stroke can occur. An incision is made to open the artery, the plaques are removed, and the artery is closed. NINDS is the leading supporter of research on stroke and TIA in the U.S. and sponsors studies ranging from clinical trials to investigations of basic biological mechanisms as well as studies with animals.