What are the most common symptoms of mini-stroke?

A transient ischemic attack, also known as a mini-stroke, can cause frightening symptoms. This attack occurs when blood flow within a person's brain is blocked or decreased. The symptoms of mini-stroke are similar to a stroke, but the effects are temporary. Experiencing a mini-stroke is usually a sign that a person will soon have a stroke. Symptoms of mini-stroke include blurred vision, numbness, confusion, dizziness, slurred speech, and the inability to move a limb on one side of the body.

Mini strokes are commonly caused by a blood clot. These blood clots can form in the blood vessels, the heart, or another part of the body. A mini-stroke can also be caused by plaque buildup in the arteries. Both blood clots and plaque interfere with blood flow and can cause a transient ischemic attack.

When a person has symptoms of a mini-stroke, they should seek immediate medical attention. This is necessary because there is no way to tell if the symptoms are temporary or the result of a stroke. If a doctor thinks a patient is having a mini-stroke or stroke, he or she will order a series of tests.

A commonly administered test is called a computed tomography (CT) scan. This type of test examines the brain and can detect the presence of bleeding. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is another test that can determine if a patient's brain has suffered a stroke. Other tests, including blood tests and electrocardiograms (EKGs), may also be administered to the patient experiencing mini-stroke symptoms.

Depending on the patient's condition, various treatments may be required. Some patients may be prescribed blood-clotting medications that prevent a mini-stroke from happening again. Patients with a more serious condition may require surgery to remove the blockage from the arteries. Those who have other illnesses that have contributed to the mini-stroke will receive prescription medications to treat these conditions.

Mini-stroke prevention may be possible if patients receive regular medical check-ups. A doctor can help patients control high blood pressure, a medical condition that can cause a stroke or transient ischemic attack. Keeping cholesterol levels low and managing heart disease are two other ways to prevent a mini-stroke. Other diseases that can cause blood clots need to be carefully monitored by a doctor to avoid the dangers of a stroke as well. Another important way to prevent strokes and mini-strokes is to avoid smoking, as smoking can contribute to a mini-stroke or stroke.

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