A stroke is a medical emergency. Strokes happen when blood flow to your brain stops. Within minutes, brain cells begin to die. There are two kinds of stroke. The more common kind, called ischemic stroke, is caused by a blood clot that blocks or plugs a blood vessel in the brain. The other kind, called hemorrhagic stroke, is caused by a blood vessel that breaks and bleeds into the brain. "Mini-strokes," or transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), occur when the blood supply to the brain is briefly interrupted.

Symptoms of stroke are

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg (especially on one side of the body)
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden dizziness, difficulty walking, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause

If you have any of these symptoms, you must get to a hospital quickly to begin treatment. Acute stroke therapies try to stop a stroke while it is happening by quickly dissolving the blood clot or by stopping the bleeding. Post-stroke rehabilitation helps individuals overcome disabilities that result from stroke damage. Drug therapy with blood thinners is the most common treatment for stroke.

Source: MedlinePlus

Note: This topic was prepared to help consumers find reliable health resources on the web. This site is not responsible for the information on other sites. The information here — and on all websites — is not intended to be a substitute for care given to you by a health professional.

Recommended Reading

American Stroke Association
The American Stroke Association is a national voluntary health organization whose mission is to reduce disability and death from stroke. This link provides in-depth information on causes and prevention of stroke.

Reduce Your Risk and Manage Your Disease

Know Stroke: Know the Signs. Act in Time, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
This link from one of the National Institutes of Health includes warning signs and treatable risk factors.

Reducing Risk and Recognizing Symptoms, National Stroke Association
This link offers stroke prevention guidelines and details about stroke risk.

Quitting Tobacco, HealthInfoSource.com
Quitting tobacco is one of the most important things you can do for your heart and overall health. This collection of links can help you get started.

Understand and Manage Your Blood Pressure, HealthInfoSource.com
High blood pressure (also called hypertension) is a risk factor for heart disease and increases your chance of having a stroke. Learn more about blood pressure and how to manage high blood pressure.

Local Resources

Search for a Healthcare Provider
Search the "medical care" section of this site to find a physician or other healthcare provider who can help you understand your risk for stroke.

Poudre River Public Library District
Search the library collection for books about stroke, or use the library's health, sciences and technology databases.

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