Stroke

A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is suddenly interrupted or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts, spilling blood into the spaces surrounding brain cells. Brain cells die when they no longer receive oxygen and nutrients from the blood or there is sudden bleeding into or around the brain. The symptoms of a stroke include sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body; sudden confusion or trouble speaking or understanding speech; sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes; sudden trouble with walking, dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination; or sudden severe headache with no known cause. There are two forms of stroke: ischemic – blockage of a blood vessel supplying the brain, and hemorrhagic – bleeding into or around the brain.

Generally there are three treatment stages for stroke: prevention, therapy immediately after the stroke, and post-stroke rehabilitation. Therapies to prevent a first or recurrent stroke are based on treating an individual’s underlying risk factors for stroke, such as hypertension, atrial fibrillation, and diabetes. Acute stroke therapies try to stop a stroke while it is happening by quickly dissolving the blood clot causing an ischemic stroke or by stopping the bleeding of a hemorrhagic stroke. Post-stroke rehabilitation helps individuals overcome disabilities that result from stroke damage. Medication or drug therapy is the most common treatment for stroke. The most popular classes of drugs used to prevent or treat stroke are antithrombotics (antiplatelet agents and anticoagulants) and thrombolytics.

Although stroke is a disease of the brain, it can affect the entire body. A common disability that results from stroke is complete paralysis on one side of the body, called hemiplegia. A related disability that is not as debilitating as paralysis is one-sided weakness or hemiparesis. Stroke may cause problems with thinking, awareness, attention, learning, judgment, and memory. Stroke survivors often have problems understanding or forming speech. A stroke can lead to emotional problems. Stroke patients may have difficulty controlling their emotions or may express inappropriate emotions. Many stroke patients experience depression. Stroke survivors may also have numbness or strange sensations. The pain is often worse in the hands and feet and is made worse by movement and temperature changes, especially cold temperatures.

Recurrent stroke is frequent; about 25 percent of people who recover from their first stroke will have another stroke within 5 years.

 

Patient Organizations

American Stroke Association: A Division of American Heart Association

7272 Greenville Avenue
Dallas, TX 75231-4596
strokeinfo@heart.org
www.strokeassociation.org
Tel: 888-4STROKE (478-7653)

Brain Aneurysm Foundation

269 Hanover Street, Building 3
Hanover, MA 02339
office@bafound.org
www.bafound.org
Tel: 781-826-5556
888-BRAIN02 (272-4602)

Brain Attack Coalition

31 Center Drive
Room 8A07
Bethesda, MD 20892-2540
www.brainattackcoalition.org
Tel: 301-496-5751

Child Neurology Foundation

201 Chicago Avenue, Suite 200
Minneapolis, MN 55415
info@childneurologyfoundation.org
www.childneurologyfoundation.org
Tel: 612-928-6325

Children's Hemiplegia and Stroke Association (CHASA)

4101 West Green Oaks Blvd.
Suite 305
PMB 149
Arlington, TX 76016
info437@chasa.org
chasa.org
Tel: 817-492-4325

Fibromuscular Dysplasia Society of America (FMDSA)

20325 Center Ridge Road Suite 620
Rocky River, OH 44116
admin@fmdsa.org
www.fmdsa.org
Tel: 216-834-2410
888-709-7089

Heart Rhythm Society

1325 G Street, N.W.
Suite 400
Washington, DC 20005
support@heartrhythmfoundation.org
www.hrsonline.org
Tel: 202-464-3454

Joe Niekro Foundation

12707 High Bluff Drive
Suite 200
San Diego, CA 92130-2035
info@joeniekrofoundation.com
www.joeniekrofoundation.com
Tel: 877-803-7650

National Aphasia Association

P.O. Box 87
Scarsdale, NY 10583
naa@aphasia.org
www.aphasia.org
Tel: 212-267-2814
800-922-4NAA (4622)

National Stroke Association

9707 East Easter Lane
Suite B
Centennial, CO 80112-3747
info@stroke.org
www.stroke.org
Tel: 303-649-9299
800-STROKES (787-6537)

YoungStroke, Inc.

P.O. Box 692
Conway, SC 29528
info@youngstroke.org
www.youngstroke.org
Tel: 843-248-9019
843-655-2835

Disclaimer:

APS Foundation of America, Inc. is not intended to replace standard doctor-patient visits, physical examination, and medical testing. Information given to members is only an opinion. All information should be confirmed with your personal doctor. Always seek the advice of a trained physician in person before seeking any new treatment regarding your medical diagnosis or condition. Any information received from APS Foundation of America, Inc is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure. This brochure is for informational purposes only.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.

A team of people contributed to this publication. Where to find this information: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/stroke/stroke.htm

Prepared by:
Office of Communications and Public Liaison
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD 20892

NINDS health-related material is provided for information purposes only and does not necessarily represent endorsement by or an official position of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke or any other Federal agency. Advice on the treatment or care of an individual patient should be obtained through consultation with a physician who has examined that patient or is familiar with that patient’s medical history.

All NINDS-prepared information is in the public domain and may be freely copied. Credit to the NINDS or the NIH is appreciated.

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DISCLAIMER: APS Foundation of America, Inc. website is not intended to replace standard doctor-patient visits, physical examination, and medical testing. Information given to members is only an opinion. All information should be confirmed with your personal doctor. Always seek the advice of a trained physician in person before seeking any new treatment regarding your medical diagnosis or condition. Any information received from APS Foundation of America, Inc. website is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure. This site is for informational purposes only. Please note that we will be listing all donor or purchaser's names on the Donor page of our foundation site. If you do not want your name listed, please contact us to opt out. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.