Senate Minority Leader Reid Had Mild Stroke

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The Senate Democratic leader, Harry Reid (search) of Nevada, suffered a brief mini-stroke Tuesday, but doctors found no complications and he feels fine, aides said Friday.

One of the nation's most powerful elected Democrats, the 65-year-old senator canceled several appearances in Nevada late this week. But his press secretary Tessa Hafen said, "There are no complications or any restrictions on his activities."

A gold miner's son, Reid has become a visible leader of his party since assuming leadership of the Senate minority last January.

"He has undergone evaluations this week, and his doctors have recommended that he take advantage of the summer congressional recess for some downtime," Hafen added.

Her statement said Reid sought medical attention at the urging of his wife, Landra. He was told he had experienced a transient ischemic attack (search).

"It's being described as a mini-stroke ... but he is feeling just fine," Hafen said.

Reid was in his hometown of Searchlight, Nev., about an hour south of Las Vegas, when the episode occurred, and went to Las Vegas to see a doctor, Hafen said. She said he is now in Las Vegas with his family and is not hospitalized. Congress has been in recess since the beginning of August.

"He honestly has been feeling fine this week, he was just doing some tests and running some evaluations," Hafen said. "He has run 12 marathons (in the past). He's in good shape."

Asked why announcement of the event was delayed for three days, Hafen said, "The reason was the tests and the evaluations that they were doing. We wanted to make sure we knew what we were announcing. You need conclusive information."

A transient ischemic attack is described by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (search) as a transient stroke that lasts a few minutes and occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is briefly interrupted.

Symptoms including weakness and dizziness usually occur suddenly and are similar to those of stroke, but usually disappear within an hour, though they may persist for up to 24 hours.

Reid canceled some events this week: an observance Friday in southern Nevada of Social Security's 70th anniversary, a Friday lunch with Clark County teachers and a planned speech in Reno on Saturday to the Associated Press Television-Radio Association of California and Nevada. Hafen said he would be taking it easy for the next several days but will not have to curtail his normal activities in the long term.

The National Stroke Association says transient ischemic attack, considered a type of mini-stroke, is a brief episode of stroke symptoms that usually last less than 24 hours and usually does not involve any permanent loss of abilities. One in three people who experiences a TIA go on to have an actual stroke, the NSA reports on its Web site.

Reid's deputy as leader of the Senate Democrats is Sen. Dick Durbin (search) of Illinois.

Reid was chosen to lead Senate Democrats at the beginning of the current congressional session after the previous minority leader, Tom Daschle of South Dakota, lost his 2004 re-election bid. Reid had been the party whip — the No. 2 Senate Democrat — for six years before moving into the leadership role.

He has represented Nevada in the Senate since 1987; he served in the House from 1983-87.