Good news if you’ve ever had a “mini-stroke”

A mini-stroke (better known to doctors as a TIA or transient ischemic attack) is a nerve-racking problem because there is a high likelihood of that TIA being a harbinger of a flu-fledged stroke in the not-too-distant future (TIAs are often referred to, in fact, as strokes-in-waiting).

So because we know there’s a potential stroke lurking out there for you if you’ve ever had a TIA, doctors do their utmost to try to prevent that eventuality, which starts, of course, as always, with getting you to make lifestyle adjustments – don’t smoke, drink only moderate amounts of alcohol, and all the rest – but which also includes strong attempts to cover known risk factors for stroke, particularly high blood pressure and diabetes.

And doctors also attempt to prevent you suffering a blood clot by prescribing you daily ASA, but although ASA does work somewhat, it doesn’t work as well as anyone would like.

So we very much need a better treatment protocol, and to that end, a recent study named THALES (don’t ask) seems to have come up with a pretty good next-step treatment.

By combining ASA with a new drug called BRILINTA (generic name: ticagrelor ), researchers from AstraZeneca claim they were able to significantly reduce the risk of a full-fledged stroke and/or death from stroke in someone who had had a TIA over 30 days following the TIA.

Lots of precautions to apply, though, before we get too enthusiastic about this, especially since this report was from the makers of the drug and has not yet been published in an authoritative journal (where the results can be finely parsed) but still, with a TIA, any good news is hopeful news, so hope this works as well in the real world.