Transient ischemic attacks (TIA) differ from cerebral infarcts in that symptoms associated with TIA are short lived resolving completely within 24 hours but not permanent as seen after cerebral infarcts. TIA is a marker for cerebral infarcts or heart disease. Some of the risk factors for TIA are related to behaviour. When these are found it should be possible to implement psychological measures to prevent repeated TIAs. Although most people apparently fully recover following TIA their quality of life suffers significantly in measurable ways. Patients with cardiovascular diseases and patients who have suffered TIA often become depressed. The health care cost associated with TIA has not been evaluated in Iceland, but figures from a Danish study indicated that the average cost per patient during the first year following TIA was substantial. It is important to evaluate the reduction of the quality of life apparent in TIA sufferers. Preventive measures against repeated TIAs need to be defined. Motivating TIA sufferers to adopt preventive measures for their own benefit as well as for society as a whole seems well justified.