A stroke is an event characterized by a loss of brain functions due to a disturbance in the blood vessels supplying blood to the brain. There are two major categories of strokes; ischemic strokes and hemorrhagic strokes. An ischemic stroke occurs from a sudden interruption of the blood supply to the brain, most often through a blot clot that obstructs blood flow in an artery. A hemorrhagic stroke occurs due to a rupture of a blood vessel in the brain. A stroke is a medical emergency and can result in serious neurological injuries and even death if not immediately treated. Coma, brain injury, paralysis, and cognitive deficits are some of the disabilities that can result from a stroke.

Stroke symptoms typically develop rapidly and include:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face or limbs (usually radiating to one side of the body)
  • Noticeable muscle weakness in the face
  • Sudden altered heart and breathing rate
  • Sudden confusion
  • Sudden slurred speech
  • Sudden loss of balance and coordination, dizziness
  • Sudden severe headache
  • Sudden visual disturbance

You should contact your doctor immediately if you experience any symptoms of a stroke.

Published November 17, 2011 by