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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What causes transient ischemic attacks?

my daughter in law is having mini strokes since yesterday afternoon. she is still in the hospital and is still having them. Just wondering what causes mini strokes and if there is any kind of treatment. Her father died of a massive heart attack when he was in his 50s. She is 48. She has been addicted to prescription drugs for at least 10 years and suffers from severe headaches. In November or December she started drinking, I found out about it in January, 2017.
Thu, 25 Oct 2018
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Hello,

Mini strokes, or transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), as you may know, are temporary blockages or decreased blood flow in the arteries to the brain. There are three main causes: one is from a small piece of blood clot that comes from the heart or from an artery; another is a small blood vessel in the brain that becomes mostly blocked; and finally, a large blood vessel that becomes significantly blocked so that not enough blood gets to the brain.

Most of these causes involve cholesterol plaque in the arteries. From what you've told about your daughter in law, it's hard to say what is causing her mini strokes. In addition to getting an MRI of her brain, normally a scan of her blood vessels going to her brain and possibly an echocardiogram would be done to try to find the cause of her mini strokes, but sometimes a cause isn't found. Generally, patients with mini-strokes are put on a blood thinner like aspirin, along with cholesterol-lowering drugs and blood pressure meds if she has high blood pressure.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.

Regards,
Dr. Aaron Branch,
General & Family Physician
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What causes transient ischemic attacks?

Hello, Mini strokes, or transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), as you may know, are temporary blockages or decreased blood flow in the arteries to the brain. There are three main causes: one is from a small piece of blood clot that comes from the heart or from an artery; another is a small blood vessel in the brain that becomes mostly blocked; and finally, a large blood vessel that becomes significantly blocked so that not enough blood gets to the brain. Most of these causes involve cholesterol plaque in the arteries. From what you ve told about your daughter in law, it s hard to say what is causing her mini strokes. In addition to getting an MRI of her brain, normally a scan of her blood vessels going to her brain and possibly an echocardiogram would be done to try to find the cause of her mini strokes, but sometimes a cause isn t found. Generally, patients with mini-strokes are put on a blood thinner like aspirin, along with cholesterol-lowering drugs and blood pressure meds if she has high blood pressure. Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further. Regards, Dr. Aaron Branch, General & Family Physician