Symptoms of stroke

A stroke is like a heart attack in the brain. Just as a part of the heart dies when deprived of oxygen during a heart attack, so a part of the brain dies when deprived of oxygen during a stroke. A thrombic stroke occurs when an artery in the brain is blocked by a clot or atherosclerosis; an embolic stroke occurs when a small clot (known as an embolus) forms elsewhere in the body and moves to the brain, where it lodges in an artery and blocks the flow of blood.

A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when an artery ruptures, usually due to high blood pressure. While hemorrhagic strokes are less common—only about 20 percent of all strokes—they are much more lethal, causing about 50 percent of all stroke-related deaths.

In the aftermath of a stroke, the person loses the bodily functions association with the part of the brain that was destroyed. Symptoms of stroke include slurred speech or loss of speech, sudden severe headache, double vision or blindness, sudden weakness or loss of sensation in the limbs, or loss of consciousness. These symptoms can occur over a period of a few minutes or hours, and they can occur on one side of the body or both.

Symptoms of strokeStroke is the nation's third leading cause of death and the leading cause of adult disability. Experts estimate that as many as 80 percent of all strokes can be prevented, either through changes in lifestyle or through the use of drugs to control high blood pressure and the tendency to form blood clots.

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