Mercy Stroke Center
What is a stroke?
Stroke is sometimes properly referred to as a “brain attack.” A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is disrupted. Most strokes are caused when arteries are blocked by blood clots or when weakened arteries rupture. Brain cells die when deprived of oxygen and nutrients normally provided by blood.
Stroke is the leading cause of adult disability in the U.S. and the third leading killer of Americans. More than 80% of U.S. adults age 40-70 are at risk for a first stroke.
If treated with appropriate medication within the first 1-3 hours after onset, the most common form of stroke (an ischemic stroke) can essentially be reversed. Learn the warning signs of stroke. If you or a loved one suffer from any of the following symptoms call 9-1-1 immediately and seek professional medical care:
Other symptoms of stroke can include sudden:
- numbness or weakness in the face, arm or leg on one side of the body
- confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
- vision problems in one or both eyes
- trouble walking
- dizziness, loss of coordination or balance
- severe headache
Certain people are at a higher risk for having a stroke including:
- people who are over the age of 55
- people with a family history of stroke
- people who regularly drink alcohol
- people who have had a previous stroke
- people with atrial fibrillation
- people with high cholesterol
- people with high blood pressure
- people with heart disease or carotid artery disease
If you are at risk for a stroke based on your personal medical history, your family medical history, or any of the above factors, it is important that you discuss ways to reduce your stroke risk with your physician.