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About Stroke

What is a Stroke?

A stroke is an attack to the brain. It can happen suddenly, often without warning. It occurs when the blood supply to the brain is either interrupted by a clot or when blood leaks out of the blood vessels into the brain. The brain cells in that area of the brain become damaged. The damage to these cells may recover over time but some may never function again. The effects of a stroke may cause a paralysis, loss of speech, co-ordination and comprehension problems. But a stroke is very individual and will affect people in different ways.

Stroke is the common name for this illness though, depending on the type of stroke, it may be referred to as a Cerebral Infarction, Cerebral Thrombosis, Cerebral Haemorrhage or Cerebrovascular Accident (CVA).

What is a Transient Ischaemic Attack (known as TIA)?

This behaves like a stroke except that the symptoms pass quickly. These symptoms may be present for a few minutes or a number of hours and then completely disappear. It occurs because for a short time, not enough blood has reached a part of the brain. Anyone who experiences a TIA, or thinks they might have, should consult their GP immediately or call the emergency services.

Note: The Bristol Area Stroke Foundation is not qualified to give medical advice on your stroke or medication. Any concerns of this nature should be taken up with your GP/Consultant.

For more information on the causes or effects of stroke refer to the Stroke Association web site, www.stroke.org.uk or phone 0845 3033 100.


Next Page: Your life after a stroke »