How is mini-stroke different from regular stroke?

Published: Jan 14 2014 12:07:09 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 27 2014 04:01:02 PM EST
heart stethoscope

By Mayo Clinic News Network

When people use the term "ministroke," what they're really often referring to is a transient ischemic attack (TIA) -- a temporary interruption of blood flow to part of the brain, spinal cord or retina.

The symptoms of a TIA are similar to those of a stroke, but a TIA doesn't destroy brain cells or cause permanent disability. However, TIAs may recur, and each TIA increases the risk of a subsequent stroke.

If you suspect that you've had a TIA, seek immediate medical attention. You may need various diagnostic tests, such as a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan or a computerized tomography (CT) scan, to help determine what caused the TIA.

Depending on the underlying cause, you may need medication to prevent blood clots or a procedure to remove fatty deposits (plaques) from the arteries that supply blood to your brain (carotid endarterectomy).

Source: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/transient-ischemic-attack/expert-answers/mini-stroke/FAQ-20058390?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=housecall&pubDate=01/07/2014