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What is the difference between a full stroke and a ministroke?

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Quick Answer

Unlike a regular stroke, a transient ischemic attack, also called a ministroke, doesn't damage brain cells or lead to a permanent disability, according to Mayo Clinic. Nonetheless, ministrokes are generally recurring, with each attack increasing the risk of a succeeding stroke.

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Full Answer

Stroke occurs when brains cells die due to the lack of blood flow to the brain, explains Healthline. A transient ischemic attack results from a temporary blood clot, while an ischemic stroke results from blood clots. Another type of stroke is a hemorrhagic stroke, in which blood vessels break and cause brain bleeding. All types of stroke involve the same symptoms, such as eyesight problems, confusion, difficulty in talking, and weakness or numbness on one side of the body.

A major difference among the main types of stroke is the duration of time that symptoms manifest, notes Healthline. Transient ischemic attacks typically occur for only one to five minutes. Compared to ministrokes, ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes lead to permanent brain damage.

Prompt medical care is crucial if a person suffers transient ischemic attacks, notes Mayo Clinic. To determine the cause of a ministroke, doctors generally perform a computerized tomography scan or magnetic resonance imaging. Possible treatment options include taking medication to prevent the formation of blood clots or undergoing a procedure that gets rid of fatty deposits in the arteries responsible for delivering blood to the brain.

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