Mini stroke

Transient ischaemic attack (TIA)

Temporary disruption of blood flow, and oxygen, to a part of the brain

About TIA's

A transient ischaemic attack (TIA) occurs when the flow of blood into part of the brain is interrupted for a short period. The lack of oxygen can lead to symptoms similar to those of a full stroke, but which pass relatively quickly.

Need to know

  • Symptoms of mini stroke icon plus

    As with a mini stroke, the main symptoms are similar to a stroke, last only for a few minutes and don't cause permanent damage, recurrent TIAs may increase the risk of a stroke:

    • Face – weakness, numbness or paralysis in your face, arm or leg, typically on one side of your body, your eyes may droop or you may not be able to smile.
    • Arms and legs – dizziness or loss of balance or coordination
    • Speech – slurred or garbled speech, not being able to talk at all, being unable to find words or not understanding what someone says to you.
    • Disturbances of eyesight - blindness in one or both eyes or double vision
    • Headaches - sudden, severe headache with no known cause

    In the early stages, a TIA is almost impossible to differentiate from a stroke, so you should treat it as an emergency. Please ensure you attend your nearest emergency department, the NHS has specialist Stroke clinics to with teams experience in treatment people having a TIA or stroke.   

  • Diagnosing a TIA  icon plus

    The difference between a TIA and a stroke is that the symptoms of a TIA often pass quickly, within hours or even minutes, and will fully resolve within 24 hours. Even once the symptoms have passed, you'll need an assessment in hospital to confirm you've had a TIA and to discuss treatment to try and reduce your risk of a repeat or even a stroke.
  • Potential treatment options icon plus

    Although a TIA will pass, investigation and treatment are vital. A transient ischaemic attack is often a warning that you're at risk of another TIA, or even a stroke. The extent of this risk may depend on factors such as your age and your medical history.

    For strokes, prevention is better than treatment, so your consultant might recommend lifestyle changes after a TIA. Regular exercise, eating healthily, maintaining a healthy weight, limiting alcohol and not smoking are all ways you can reduce your risk. In some cases, you might be prescribed medication, or even have surgery to unblock the carotid arteries, the main vessels carrying blood to your brain.

Our TIA specialists

Our cardiologists work together with neurologists to investigate the cause of a mini stroke, and help you regain your strength and cognitive abilities.   

Our locations

From complex neurology to diagnostic tests and procedures, we provide exceptional treatment and therapy care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Book an appointment

Our team can help with any enquiries or you can make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

Call us today

020 7079 4344
This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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