A transient ischaemic attack is a temporary neurological deficit, usually comprising a dimming of vision, a lack of power or movement on one side of the body, numbness, dizziness and difficulty in speaking that usually lasts 10 minutes or less but may last as long as 24 hours. These attacks are usually related to a temporary blockage in a blood vessel in the brain caused either by spasm of an already atherosclerotic vessel or by an embolism . The longer the attack, the more probable the effect was caused by an embolism.
Recovery is usually complete but transient ischaemic attacks usually recur and may be a warning of an impending stroke. Recommendations for treatment are as for Stroke but also see Atherosclerosis.