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Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) - Cause

Blood clots that temporarily block blood flow to the brain are the most common cause of transient ischemic attacks (TIAs). Blood clots may develop for a variety of reasons.

Also, an artery that is partially blocked with plaque can reduce blood flow to the brain and cause symptoms.

Rare causes of blood clots that can cause a TIA include:

  • Clumps of bacteria, tumor cells, or air bubbles that move through the bloodstream.
  • Conditions that cause blood cells to stick together. For example, having too many red blood cells (polycythemia), abnormal clotting factors, or abnormally shaped red blood cells, such as those caused by sickle cell disease, may cause blood clots to form.
  • Inflammation in the blood vessels, which may develop from conditions such as syphilis, tuberculosis, or other inflammatory diseases.
  • A head or neck injury that results in damage to blood vessels in the head or neck.
  • A tear in the wall of a blood vessel located in the neck.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: February 05, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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