A stroke occurs when blood supply to the brain is disrupted in some way, causing lack of oxygen and nutrients to brain tissue. Within a few minutes, brain cells begin to die. Symptoms may include difficulty with speech or walking, paralysis or numbness on one side of the body, visual disturbance, and sudden headache. For most people a stroke does not give any warning, though a possible warning sign is a transient ischemic attack (TIA). The signs and symptoms are the same as a stroke but last for a shorter duration and then disappear.


An ischemic stroke is caused by too little blood flow to the brain, and a hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain leaks or ruptures. A transient ischemic attack is caused by a temporary decrease in blood pressure to part of the brain.


Stroke is a medical emergency. Signs necessitate immediate medical intervention.

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