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What causes transient ischemic attack?

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Posted on Fri, 19 Sep 2014
Question: no aspartame and a regular aspirin every day--does that make sense as a change in my habits due to my recent tia?XXXX
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Answered by Dr. Richard Jackson (40 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Yes

Detailed Answer:
the most significant and common risk factor stroke/Tia is systolic blood pressure elevation. if you don't have significant carotid disease (normal mra) and no risk factors for atrial fibrillation (normal cardiac echo) them your most significant risk factor is hypertension. the reason for this is long term damage. over time the blood vessels respond to high pressure by replacing the elastic tissue with tough scar tissue. diabetes/high cholesterol then cause damage and narrowing of the blood vessel predisposing it to blockages that wouldn't normally affect someone without narrowing. that's why the aspirin helps by thinning your blood. but even aspirin is only 30% protective. strokes can still occur. the best preventative measure is control of blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar. aspartame has not been directly shown to be causal but possibly associated. if you do not have any of the above risk factors then other possible diagnoses could be considered by your doctor. hope this helps
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Shanthi.E
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Follow up: Dr. Richard Jackson (1 hour later)
Thanks so much--I had an MRI-MRA few months ago because of a sort of "short" in my mind--lasted for an hour or so--I have had migraine for 55 years so I was never so very concerned about the aura, and the aftermath-numbness, loss of control of my speech-anyway the MRI MRA did not shoe anything but brain health--so I am not going to have another one. my cholesterol is always pretty good and the HDL very high--104 a few months ago but usually 86 or so
I will do the adult aspirin and give up the aspartame--I exercise every day and weigh 120 for years--stable blood sugar, etc--thank you--
doctor
Answered by Dr. Richard Jackson (3 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Glad I could help

Detailed Answer:
my pleasure. stay on top of this. if it happens again it is most likely not a Tia/stroke as they rarely happen the same way multiple times. other things like seizure should be considered. if anything happens like that again go straight to the emergency room for evaluation for stroke treatments
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj
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Follow up: Dr. Richard Jackson (22 hours later)
One more question about my tia- the effects seemed last about three hours--but no blacking out, just a confused mental state==no headache, no nausea, and I was able to talk and get through what had to be be done.
Since then I have taken my adult aspirin and am doing exercise, and my regular life commitments--but I am very tired. Is that a normal result of TIA? Thanks, XXXXXXX C
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Answered by Dr. Richard Jackson (9 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Unlikely

Detailed Answer:
Hi,

Tias are self limited events and if you make it through one without any brain MRI lesions there should be no consequences. rarely does Tia cause confusion. you might want to look into a paroxysmal even work-up which includes seizure and pre-syncope.

Regards,
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
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Dr. Richard Jackson

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Practicing since :2010

Answered : 120 Questions

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What causes transient ischemic attack?

Brief Answer: Yes Detailed Answer: the most significant and common risk factor stroke/Tia is systolic blood pressure elevation. if you don't have significant carotid disease (normal mra) and no risk factors for atrial fibrillation (normal cardiac echo) them your most significant risk factor is hypertension. the reason for this is long term damage. over time the blood vessels respond to high pressure by replacing the elastic tissue with tough scar tissue. diabetes/high cholesterol then cause damage and narrowing of the blood vessel predisposing it to blockages that wouldn't normally affect someone without narrowing. that's why the aspirin helps by thinning your blood. but even aspirin is only 30% protective. strokes can still occur. the best preventative measure is control of blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar. aspartame has not been directly shown to be causal but possibly associated. if you do not have any of the above risk factors then other possible diagnoses could be considered by your doctor. hope this helps