Brain & Spine Specialists

Neurologists & Neurosurgeons located in Panama City, FL

Transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) are easy to miss because they only last a few minutes, yet they serve as an important warning: TIAs often appear hours or days before a stroke, giving you a chance to get treatment to prevent the event. The team at Brain & Spine Specialists have extensive experience performing diagnostic tests, determining whether you had a TIA, and providing treatment to prevent a future stroke. To schedule an appointment, call the most convenient location in Panama City, Florida, for you or use the online booking feature.


What is a TIA?

TIA’s, or mini-strokes, occur when the blood supply to your brain temporarily drops. The event only lasts a few minutes and doesn’t cause permanent brain damage.

If you suspect you had a TIA, it’s important to schedule an evaluation at Brain & Spine Specialists because a TIA is a big red flag warning of a potential stroke in the future. About one in three people who have a TIA go on to have a stroke.

What symptoms might I experience during a TIA?

The symptoms you may develop during a TIA disappear within an hour. Depending on their severity, you may hardly notice them, but be aware of the sudden appearance of:

Weakness, numbness, or paralysis

These symptoms occur on one side of your body, often affecting your face and making one side of your mouth droop down. The same symptom may appear in one of your arms or legs. If that happens, you’ll have a hard time holding the affected arm up in front of you.

Speech problems

Your speech may sound garbled or slurred to others. Alternately, you may have a hard time understanding others when they speak.

Vision changes

A TIA may cause temporary blindness or double vision in one or both eyes.

Headache and dizziness

You may develop a sudden, severe headache for no apparent reason. Some patients also report feeling dizzy, with or without a headache.

What causes a TIA?

A clot that blocks blood flow to the brain causes TIAs. The most common type of stroke, an ischemic stroke, is caused by the same problem. The difference is that the blockage is brief during a TIA, which is why TIAs typically don’t cause permanent brain damage.

The underlying cause of the blockage is a buildup of cholesterol and other substances, which form plaque in the artery carrying blood to your brain. Plaques can get large enough to stop blood flow, or a piece of plaque in another artery outside your brain may break off, travel to your brain, and cause a TIA.

How is a TIA treated?

Treatment for a TIA includes medications to lower your risk of a future stroke and possibly surgery to remove plaque from the artery. Your doctor at Brain & Spine Specialists may choose from among several types of medications that dissolve existing blood clots and prevent future blockages from forming.

At the first sign of a TIA, schedule an appointment at Brain & Spine Specialists by calling the office nearest you or using the online booking feature.