Transient Ischemic Attack (TIAs)

A transient ischemic attack, or TIA, starts like a stroke, producing stroke-like symptoms (such as numbness or weakness), but resolves within a few minutes or up to 24 hours without leaving behind any residual effects. It’s often called a mini-stroke but can also be considered a warning stroke, because about one-third of people who have a TIA will later have a more severe stroke.

The UT Southwestern Difference

The stroke team at UT Southwestern is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide rapid evaluation of TIA symptoms and to work with patients to prevent future strokes.

As the only Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center in North Texas, we offer every option available to patients who have experienced a TIA. We’re prepared to make a quick and comprehensive diagnosis and begin immediate treatment.


Because the symptoms of a TIA don’t last, your doctor may initially diagnose it based on your description of symptoms and your medical history.

The next step is to diagnose the cause of the TIA in an effort to prevent future strokes. Causes can include high blood pressure, smoking, high cholesterol, carotid artery disease, heart disease, diabetes, and family history.


Treatment focuses on addressing the cause of the TIA to prevent an actual stroke. For example, we may prescribe cholesterol-lowering medication, blood pressure medication, anti-platelet agents to keep blood from clotting, or anticoagulants, which also address clotting problems.

When carotid artery disease is the cause, we may recommend surgery to clear out the fatty deposits that have narrowed the carotid artery in the neck before another TIA or an actual stroke can occur.

Request an Appointment

If you or a loved one notices signs of a stroke, call 911 immediately and go to the nearest stroke center in an ambulance. While you’re experiencing symptoms, you won’t know if it’s a TIA or an actual stroke, so you should assume it’s a stroke and act quickly.

At UT Southwestern, we’ll thoroughly evaluate you in the emergency room and determine the cause of the TIA before treatment begins.

If you are not experiencing stroke symptoms and want to schedule an appointment with a stroke and TIA specialist at UT Southwestern’s facilities in Dallas, or to learn more about our services, request an appointment or call 214-645-8300.