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Ministroke, major effects

doctor examinationWhile transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) are better known as “ministrokes,” don’t let the name fool you: Ministrokes can cause lasting effects. According to a new study in the American Heart Association (AHA) journal Stroke, 15 percent of the nearly 500 patients studied suffered minor disability—meaning they were unable to carry out previous activities, but capable of handling personal affairs without assistance—in the 90 days afterward.

If you experience symptoms of a TIA, such as slurred speech, sudden blindness in one or both eyes, dizziness, or sudden weakness or paralysis typically on one side of your body, seek medical treatment immediately. The AHA recommends having a thorough examination, much like that for a full-blown stroke, in order to detect blocked brain blood vessels, which could lead to a more serious event.

It can be difficult to prevent a stroke because certain factors that increase your risk, such as heredity and race, aren’t changeable, but risks you can change or control include your blood pressure, quitting smoking and eating a healthy diet. Exercise is also important, as inactivity can increase your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and other health conditions that can lead to a stroke.