Is It a "Mini-Stroke" or a Real Stroke?
"Mini-Stroke" Versus StrokeA transient ischemic attack (TIA) is a transient stroke, or "mini-stroke" that lasts only a few minutes. A TIA occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is briefly interrupted. TIA symptoms, which usually occur suddenly, are similar to those of stroke symptoms but do not last as long. Most symptoms of a TIA disappear within an hour, although they may persist for up to 24 hours.
Because there is no way to tell whether the symptoms are the result of a TIA or a stroke, assume that all stroke-like symptoms signal an emergency -- do not wait to see if they go away.