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Stroke Pronunciation: Stroke (strōk)

Definition: A stroke is a serious medical condition that occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off, usually by a blood clot (ischemic stroke) or a bleed (hemorrhagic stroke). This can damage or destroy brain cells, affecting body functions controlled by that part of the brain.

What is a Stroke?


A stroke is a life-threatening medical emergency that requires immediate medical attention. It occurs when the blood supply to a part of the brain is reduced or interrupted, depriving brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients and leading to cell death.

Key Facts about Stroke:

  • There are two main types of strokes: ischemic strokes (caused by a blood clot blocking a blood vessel in the brain) and hemorrhagic strokes (caused by a blood vessel in the brain bursting or leaking).
  • Symptoms of a stroke can include sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body, confusion, trouble speaking, loss of balance, and severe headache.
  • The effects of a stroke depend on the part of the brain that was affected and the amount of damage done. Effects can range from minor physical impairment to significant disability.
  • Fast action is crucial in the event of a stroke. The quicker a person receives treatment, the less damage is likely to occur.

Stroke Detection & Treatment

How to Recognize a Stroke?

Recognizing a stroke quickly can save lives. The acronym F.A.S.T. can help:

  • Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
  • Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?
  • Time: If you observe any of these signs, call your local emergency number immediately.

Frequently Asked Questions About Stroke

What are the risk factors for a stroke?

Risk factors for stroke include high blood pressure, tobacco use, diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, physical inactivity, and a family history of stroke.

Can a stroke be prevented?

Yes, many strokes can be prevented by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and managing medical conditions. This includes eating a healthy diet, regular physical activity, not smoking, and controlling high blood pressure and diabetes.


  1. American Stroke Association. (n.d.). What is a Stroke? Retrieved July 27, 2023, from
  2. Mayo Clinic. (2023). Stroke. Retrieved July 27, 2023, from
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (n.d.). Stroke. Retrieved July 27, 2023, from