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18th June 2022

Finding Better Ways To Diagnose Mini Strokes

health care, pain, stress, age and people concept - face of senior woman suffering from headache.

Lifesaving research to reduce the risk of a major stroke is underway thanks to donations from our generous community.

The research is focused on finding better ways to diagnose Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIAs), often referred to as a ‘mini stroke’.

A TIA is a temporary period of symptoms similar to those of a major stroke.

It may only last a few minutes and doesn’t cause permanent damage, but it can be a warning sign for a major stroke.

According to Associate Professor Anne Hamilton-Bruce, Co-Director of the Stroke Research Program at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and affiliated with the University of Adelaide, a third of people who have a TIA go on to have a major stroke.

“A large proportion of strokes occur in the first 48 hours after the TIA,” said A/Prof Hamilton-Bruce.

“Correct diagnosis of TIA and early treatment can reduce subsequent stroke risk up to 80 per cent.”

Alarmingly though, there is no clear test for a TIA.

Current diagnosis methods are based on symptoms, medical history and imaging, but some TIAs can be missed which can then tragically lead to a major stroke.

This is something we’re working to change.

A/Prof Hamilton-Bruce is running the FAST-IT (Find A Simple Test In TIA) study, which aims to find a protein and lipid biomarkers in the blood to help differentiate between a TIA, minor stroke and TIA mimic.

“No one else has looked for this combination of markers before. We are hopeful that these biomarkers will improve diagnostic accuracy for TIAs and consequently help reduce the risk of stroke,” she said.

The findings from this project could help the way we manage TIAs, reduce the risk of stroke and improve long-term outcomes.

If you wish to support this study, make a donation today.