Transient Ischemic Attack Causes
- What It Is
- Risk Factors
- Living With
- User Questions
- Alternative Treatment
- Care Guide
- Questions for Your Doctor
- When to Contact a Doctor
- Find a Doctor
- Resource Guide
Causes of Transient Ischemic Attack
A TIA results from a temporary blockage of the blood supply to the brain. The carotid artery in the front of the neck is a major supply of blood to the brain. A build-up of plaque and hardening of this artery can slow or stop blood flow.
Reasons for the blockage may include:
- A blood clot or a piece of plaque (called an embolus) from inside the wall of an artery breaks off and blocks blood flow to a portion of the brain.
- A blood clot dislodges from the heart and moves to the brain.
- Temporary low blood pressure in the brain may occur due to narrowed arteries in the neck.
- Blood and blood-clotting disorders such as:
- Anemia (too few red blood cells)
- Primary Polycythemia (too many red blood cells)
- Hyperviscosity (abnormal thickening of the blood)
- Vasculitis or blood vessel inflammation
- Endocarditis (infection of the lining of the heart)