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Stroke Information

Types of Stroke

There are 2 types of strokes: ischemic stroke (blockage in an artery) or hemorrhagic stroke (an artery rupture). In both types, the part of the brain damaged by the stroke can affect how you think, see, move, feel and/or speak. 

1. Ischemic Stroke

Source: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health

Ischemic strokes are the most common type of stroke.  It occurs when a blood vessel supplying blood to the brain is blocked by a blood clot. Approximately 20 percent of all ischemic strokes occur while people are asleep.  If you wake up with any of the symptoms of a stroke, call 9-1-1 right away. 

2. Hemorrhagic Stroke

Hemorrhagic strokes is a type of stroke that is less common.  It occurs when a blood vessel supplying blood to the brain bursts and bleeds into the brain.  

Source: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health

Transient Ischemic Attack

A Transient Ischemic Attack or TIA are sometimes referred to as mini-strokes. They are caused by a small clot that briefly blocks a blood vessel supplying oxygenated blood to the brain.  The symptoms  typically last for a few minutes or up to 24 hours. Symptoms of a TIA may include temporary weakness or numbness, slurred speech, or difficulty with vision. Experiencing a TIA is an important warning sign of a possible stroke and should be considered a medical emergency that requires rapid assessment and treatment.

For more information on types of strokes, click here.

Signs of Stroke: F.A.S.T.

The sooner a person who is experiencing signs and symptoms of a stroke gets to the hospital, the better his or her chance of receiving treatment that could help reverse or lessen the effects of the stroke.   There is hope.  Stroke can be prevented and treated.

Spot a stroke - act F.A.S.T. Face drooping, arm weakness, speech difficultly, time is critical -- call 911.

Call 911 if you or someone you know shows signs of stroke.   There are some additional symptoms of stroke that are less common and include:

  • Vision changes – blurred or double vision
  • Sudden severe headache – usually accompanied by some of the other signs
  • Numbness – usually on one side of the body
  • Problems with balance

For more information, visit Heart and Stroke

Minutes Matter! Time is Brain

Risk Factors

Once you have had a stroke or TIA, you are at higher risk of having another stroke. It is important that you work with your healthcare team to manage medical conditions that increase your risk for stroke.  You may also need to make changes to your lifestyle to lower your risk of stroke.

Certain factors increase your risk for stroke. Risk factors can be divided into two categories: non-modifiable risk factors and modifiable risk factors.  Modifiable risk factors can be controlled by medications, medical treatment, or lifestyle changes.  Non-modifiable risk factors cannot be changed.

Non-modifiable risk factors

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Family and medical history
  • Heritage (e.g. African, Indigenous, South Asian)
  • Personal circumstances