Nearly half of the stroke risk following a TIA is incurred within the first two days, so immediate action may be necessary to prevent the impending stroke.

Clinical features

Accurate diagnosis of TIA usually depends entirely on the history. In most cases the symptoms and signs have already gone by the time the patient seeks medical help.

   TIA likely  TIA unlikely
Types of symptom Unilateral weakness or clumsiness

Slurring of speech in clear consciousness (particularly if accompanied by a facial droop)

Sudden loss of language (dysphasia) in clear consciousness
Simultaneous bilateral weakness

Confusion (but beware: jumbled speech could represent a TIA with dysphasia)

Loss of memory

Isolated vertigo (illusory sense of spinning or other motion)

Characteristics of these symptom Abrupt focal loss of neurological function

Complete recovery within 24 hours

Known vascular risk factors
Gradual onset

Evolution of symptoms (e.g. spread from one body part to another or gradual change in the character of the symptoms)

Prominent positive features (pain, stiffness, very prominent tingling or other dysaesthesia)