Symptoms of Transient Ischemic Attack

  • Sudden weakness, tingling, or numbness, usually affecting only one side of the body
  • Changes in sensation, such as pressure, touch, hearing, temperature, pain and taste
  • Double vision or temporary blindness in one eye
  • Loosing control over the bladder or bowels
  • Speech difficulty
  • Personality or mood swings
  • Dizziness and loss of balance or coordination
  • Swallowing difficulty
  • Lightheadedness, confusion or amnesia
  • Reading or writing difficulty
  • Headache or eye pain
  • Inability to recognize sensory stimuli (agnosia)

TIA Diagnosis

  • Patient history and physical examination are needed to rule out other disorders such as epileptic seizures and migraines.
  • Blood tests are taken to rule out disorders like hypoglycemia.
  • Imaging studies may be done, such as MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) of the brain or ultrasound scans of the carotid arteries.
  • An echocardiogram can be performed to check if there‚Äôs a blood clot from the heart.
  • Cerebral arteriography (injection of a contrast material into the blood vessels supplying the brain to highlight them during x-ray imaging) may be performed in some cases.
  • Carotid duplex (ultrasound) can be used check if the carotid arteries in the neck have narrowed.


Johns Hopkins Symptoms and Remedies: The Complete Home Medical Reference

Simeon Margolis, M.D., Ph.D., Medical Editor

Prepared by the Editors of The Johns Hopkins Medical Letter: Health After 50

Updated by Remedy Health Media

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at

Published: 29 Aug 2011

Last Modified: 12 Jul 2013