DEAR DOCTOR K: My wife had a mini-stroke. The doctor said she has a narrowed artery in her brain. Can't the doctor open it up with angioplasty, as he would if she had a narrowed heart artery?
DEAR READER: "Mini-stroke" is another name for a transient ischemic attack, or TIA. A TIA causes stroke symptoms -- such as sudden weakness on one side of the body, blurred vision or difficulty speaking -- that last 10 minutes or more, but less than 24 hours. A TIA is a warning sign of an impending stroke. Four to 10 percent of people who have a TIA will go on to have a full-blown stroke.