A mini stroke is like a regular stroke, just like Rhonda said, only less severe. Unfortunately, when the symptoms of a stroke occur, a person should not waste time trying to figure out how serious it is, but seek medical attention.
Symptoms can vary, depending on what part of the brain is affected, but a sudden onset of problems with speech, hearing, vision, coordination, balance (even response) when accompanied by a severe headache or not, is reason enough to seek immediate medical attention. Every minute counts if there is a part of your brain that is being deprived of oxygen, either from a clot or a bleed.
If by the time you reach the emergency room the symptoms are getting better, then you are lucky to be where there is help to figure out what caused the "brain attack". If you are still as bad, the doctors have 3 hours from the start of the "brain attack" to give medicine to save the brain from dying from lack of oxygen.
Age does not matter, either. I had this happen to me 11 months ago, when I was 53, with no heart disease, no medical problems, so I figured (see, I said "figured" since I was so young and not at risk) that I was just having a TIA so I waited until my husband got home, and rested... etc and didn't go to the doctor until the next morning, when I could barely write or talk and was dragging my right foot. I learned all these facts the hard way and have been rehabilitating myself since.
I was fortunate that I only killed a portion of my brain about the size of a dime/nickel, in my left hemisphere, in my language center. Now, I have been blessed that most of my deficits have been recovered and I am back to teaching and writing to my friends at BellaOnline (which I missed when my right hand wouldn't work and my words didn't come).
It is now my mission to tell everyone who will listen that the time to find out the difference in strokes and TIAs is AFTER the episode is over and you are healthy, not while you are going through it. Get immediately to a hospital and let THEM decide what to do and save yourself and your family all the hassles of being a stroke patient; disabled, unable to walk and talk and think normally.