What are the symptoms of a pre-stroke?

A pre-stroke is actually a mini-stroke, also called a transient ischemic attack or TIA. It is very serious and should be treated as such, as often it is a preview of more serious strokes to come.


A pre-stroke occurs when, for a short period of time, there is a lack of blood flow to a section of the brain. The person develops symptoms of brain function impairment. The person may have trouble speaking or moving his arm or leg on one side of the body.

Time Frame

The pre-stroke may last a few minutes or a few hours, but symptoms are usually gone before the elapse of 24 hours.


Symptoms begin rapidly and vary depending on the part of the brain affected. A pre-stroke most commonly affects areas of the brain that control arm or leg movement, ability to speak and the ability to understand spoken words. There may be dizziness or blurred vision.

Difference Between Pre-Stroke and Stroke

Both pre-stroke and stroke have the same symptoms and the same effects on the body with the exception that a pre-stroke is usually over within 24 hours, while a stroke is much longer term and may have lasting effects.


If you have had a pre-stroke, it is best to see a doctor, even if the episode lasted only a few minutes. Pre-stroke victims face an increased risk of a full stroke.

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About the Author

Rodney Crutchfield is a twenty plus year veteran of the teaching profession. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in history from Georgia Southwestern College and an Master of Education degree from Mercer University with a concentration in social studies. He writes online for Helium, and Ecopywriters.