Treat a mini-stroke as seriously as a big one, from the March 2014 Harvard Women's Health Watch

The term mini-stroke is often used to describe transient ischemic attack (TIA), a type of stroke. The "mini" has led to a lot of confusion about the true severity of this condition, according to the March 2014 Harvard Women's Health Watch.

"Because of what the term implies, everybody thinks it's just a tiny stroke. The truth is, the symptoms can be pretty severe," says Dr. Natalia Rost, associate professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and director of the Acute Stroke Service at Massachusetts General Hospital.

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