Doctors say a mini stroke usually starts out with a blood clot blocking or reducing blood flow to the brain, just like a major stroke. Only…
A mini stroke is temporary by definition. It’s a TIA – transient ischemic attack – in which blood flow returns on its own within just minutes.
Doctors say it’s a warning that you could be at risk for a full-on stroke. They say it’s important to get medical help right away to prevent and monitor for a major stroke. (Ask your doctor if low-dose aspirin makes sense for you when it comes to prevention.)
The American Stroke Association says mini stroke hits with confusion, weakness, headache, vision issues and sometimes a facial droop… but usually clears up within a day or two.
Dr. Peter McAllister, of New England Institute for Neurology & Headache, says multiple mini strokes can contribute to dementia. He says, “Vascular dementia is thought to be the most common form of dementia after Alzheimer’s and it’s little mini strokes, each perhaps the size of the head of a pin. But when they all add up, they interrupt brain transmission and can lead to dementia.”