A transient ischemic attack can serve as both a warning and an opportunity — a warning of an impending stroke and an opportunity to take steps to prevent it. TIAs are often warning signs that a person is at risk for a more serious and debilitating stroke. About one-third of those who have a TIA will have an acute stroke some time in the future. Many strokes can be prevented by heeding the warning signs of TIAs and treating underlying risk factors.
The most important treatable factors linked to TIAs and stroke are high blood pressure, cigarette smoking, heart disease, carotid artery disease, diabetes, and heavy use of alcohol. Medical help is available to reduce and eliminate these factors. Lifestyle changes such as eating a balanced diet, maintaining healthy weight, exercising, and enrolling in smoking and alcohol cessation programs can also reduce these factors. Plaques can decrease the blood flow through an artery or lead to the development of a clot. A blood clot moving to an artery that supplies your brain from another part of your body, most commonly from your heart, also may cause a TIA. To help prevent TIA, stroke, or heart attack, your provider may prescribe antiplatelet agents, drugs that prevent platelets from clumping; or anticoagulants (blood thinners), drugs that prevent blood from clotting. Many drugs, herbs, and dietary supplements interact with these types of medications. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist. These drugs include: • Low-dose aspirin Each year, approximately 1,110,683 strokes occur in the Spain. 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.