Quick treatment after transient ischemic attacks could prevent many strokes, researchers document

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Seniors who suffer transient ischemic attacks, or mini-strokes, are at greatly heightened risk for experiencing a full-blown stroke soon after and should seek treatment quickly. That's according to recently published research from neurologists at Chicago's Loyola University Medical Center.

TIA symptoms mimic those of full strokes but often go away within an hour. Therefore, victims frequently do not get treatment once the symptoms pass. However, the researchers found that between 10% and 15% of individuals who have TIAs will have a full-blown stroke within three months. Of those, about 40% go on to have a stroke within 24 hours of a TIA's onset, according to the researchers.

Seniors and their caregivers must be especially vigilant for TIAs, because individuals older than 60 are at elevated risk of a subsequent stroke. Diabetes and high blood pressure also increase the chances of a full-blown stroke after a mini-stroke event, according to the report, which appears in the journal Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics

Last week, the American Stroke Association released updated guidelines for stroke response. These guidelines stress rapid treatment with clot-dissolving drugs, if indicated, and highlight the importance of post-acute caregivers being able to recognize and respond to strokes.

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