Stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the United States.
Stroke is a disease that affects the arteries leading to and within the brain. It is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the United States.
A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts (or ruptures). When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood (and oxygen) it needs, so it and brain cells die.
What are the types of stroke?
Stroke can be caused either by a clot obstructing the flow of blood to the brain (called an ischemic stroke) or by a blood vessel rupturing and preventing blood flow to the brain (called a hemorrhagic stroke). A TIA (transient ischemic attack), or “mini stroke”, is caused by a temporary clot.
What are the effects of stroke?
The brain is an extremely complex organ that controls various body functions. If a stroke occurs and blood flow can’t reach the region that controls a particular body function, that part of the body won’t work as it should.
By learning and sharing the F.A.S.T. warning signs, you just might save a life from stroke.
Use the letters in “F.A.S.T.” to spot stroke signs and know when to call 9-1-1.
Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile uneven or lopsided?
Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence.
Time to Call 9-1-1
If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get them to the hospital immediately.
Additional Symptoms of Stroke
If someone shows any of these symptoms, call 9-1-1 or emergency medical services immediately.
Sudden NUMBNESS or weakness of face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body
Sudden CONFUSION, trouble speaking or understanding speech
Sudden Trouble Seeing
Sudden TROUBLE SEEING in one or both eyes
Sudden Trouble Walking
Sudden TROUBLE WALKING, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
Sudden Severe Headache
Sudden SEVERE HEADACHE with no known cause
Stroke Risk Factors
Do you know your stroke risk? Some factors are out of your control, like family history. But you can control some, including diet and physical activity. Now is the time to take charge of your health.
The changes you make now could impact what happens later.
Stroke Risk Factors You Can Control, Treat and Improve
Keep your stroke risks low with regular checkups and treatment for these conditions if you have them.
Stroke Risk Factors That Are Not Within Your Control
You can’t control some risk factors, but knowing that they exist may help motivate you to work harder on the ones you can change.
Additional Factors That May Be Linked to Higher Stroke Risks
Whether your risks are related to changeable factors or are primarily outside of your control, you can benefit your heart and your brain with healthy lifestyle choices.
Life After Stroke
Use our Life After Stroke Guide to understand the effects of stroke and how to maximize your rehabilitation and recovery.
Stroke can be beatable. Rehabilitation is key to achieving and celebrating all the small victories along your way to recovery.
While strokes can vary in type and severity, many patients and their loved ones have been where you are now – facing important decisions about rehab that must be made quickly. Stroke recovery can seem overwhelming, but rehab can help you regain your strength, your courage and your independence. Our tools and resources can help.
Patient Rehab Toolkit
If you or a family member is facing stroke recovery, we offer resources to take along on the recovery journey to help you navigate decisions about rehab facilities and services.
I WILL Not Have Another Heart Attack or Stroke
You may not see the risk of another heart attack or ischemic stroke, but you can reduce the chances of having another one. Talk to your doctor about a prevention plan which may include medications, such as aspirin, and other small steps that may have a big impact.
Stroke Rehabilitation Activation Toolkit
Get the facts. Share the facts. Together, we can make stroke rehab work harder. We are asking you to spread the word and share our resources for making the best possible stroke rehab decisions and improving patient outcomes.