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Stroke

Also called: Brain attack, CVA

Summary

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 trouble walking, dizziness, 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.

NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Start Here

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke)
  • (American Academy of Family Physicians)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development) Also in

Symptoms

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke) Also in

Diagnosis and Tests

  • Video (American College of Radiology, Radiological Society of North America) Also in
  • (American College of Radiology, Radiological Society of North America) Also in
  • (American College of Radiology, Radiological Society of North America) Also in
  • (Washington University, School of Medicine)
  • (American Association for Clinical Chemistry)
  • (American College of Radiology, Radiological Society of North America) - PDF Also in
  • Easy-to-Read (American Heart Association) - PDF

Prevention and Risk Factors

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)
  • (Food and Drug Administration)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke) Also in
  • (American Heart Association) - PDF
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke)
  • Easy-to-Read (Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion) Also in

Treatments and Therapies

  • (American Heart Association)
  • (American Heart Association, American Stroke Association)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development)

Related Issues

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke)
  • (American Stroke Association)
  • (National Stroke Association) - PDF
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • (American Heart Association)
  • (American Heart Association)
  • (American Heart Association)

Specifics

Genetics

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)

Images

Health Check Tools

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke)
  • (American Heart Association)

Videos and Tutorials

  • From the National Institutes of Health Video (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke)

Statistics and Research

  • (National Center for Health Statistics)
  • (American Heart Association)

Clinical Trials

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • (Washington University, School of Medicine)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Reference Desk

  • (American Heart Association)
  • (American Stroke Association)

Find an Expert

  • (American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation)
  • From the National Institutes of Health Also in

Children

  • (Washington University, School of Medicine)
  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in
  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in

Women

  • (Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health)
  • (American Stroke Association)
  • (American Heart Association)
  • (Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health) Also in

Seniors

  • (AGS Foundation for Health in Aging)

Patient Handouts

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