Mini stroke, medically known as TIA (transient ischemic attack), is a medical condition which features with symptoms of the stroke which last less than 24 hours. Mini stroke is a warning sign and can introduce the potential stroke. This is why it needs to be taken seriously and both the doctor and the patients need to take proper measures to prevent the actual stroke from occurring.
In mini stroke certain parts of the brain are deprived from the oxygen supply but only for a while. Re-establishment of the oxygen supply leads to quick normalization of the lost brain functions. The symptoms of mini stroke predominantly affect one side of the body.
Causes of Mini Stroke
Cut-off in blood supply to certain parts of the brain is the actual cause of mini stroke. There are numerous factors which can contribute to this cut-off. The problem may be related to the blood vessels of the brain or even to improper functioning of the heart. If the heart does not pump sufficient amount of blood the blood cannot reach many organs in adequate amount. This can also affect the brain. Clogging of the blood vessels in the brain is another cause of mini stroke. Even inflammatory conditions of brain blood vessels may result in mini stroke.
Symptoms and Signs of Mini Stroke
In majority of patients the symptoms and signs of mini stroke last less than 2 hours. They usually vary in duration and intensity. There is slight difference in symptoms of mini stroke between women and men.
Basically the symptoms occur all of a sudden and they last less than 24 hours. They withdraw completely leaving no sequel. The symptoms and signs of mini stroke are identical to those in the actual stroke. The only thing is that in actual stroke the damage to the affected brain is permanent and most of the brain functions are lost for good.
The most frequent symptoms include muscle weakness. It affects the face, arm, leg or entire side of the body. Muscle weakness is usually accompanied by numbness and tingling sensations in the affected area. In case that mini stroke has affected speech centers one may experience transient problems with speech. There may also be changes in alertness, mood and emotions. Transient loss of memory is also possible. And some patients experience walking difficulties and dizziness. There are several symptoms which have been reported only by women. They include headache, changes in mental status and lightheadedness. Furthermore, women may experience sudden pain in the face, arm or leg, hiccups, nausea, chest pain or rapid heart beat. Even shortness of breath has been reported.