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Stroke or Cerebrovascular Disease Signs and Symptoms

A stroke is a blocked artery leading to the brain, similar to that of a heart attack, except the organ under attack is the brain.  A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is suddenly cut off and portions of the brain die.  Cell death in the brain can occur within minutes.  A stroke is a medical emergency, and prompt medical attention is crucial.  We have put together a list of common signs and symptoms of a stroke below.

Also, we have information on diagnosis, supportive natural therapies, helpful books and valuable resources for patients.

The Signs and Symptoms of a Stroke are as follows:

  • Numbness or paralysis on one side of the body
  • Trouble speaking, temporary loss of speech
  • Trouble seeing, temporary loss of vision
  • Seeing double
  • Disordered behavior
  • Disordered thoughts and confusion
  • Memory loss
  • Trouble walking
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of coordination
  • Severe headache

Strokes usually occur in adults age fifty-five or older.  More women than men have strokes and die of them each year.  Risk factors include heart disease, diabetes, being overweight, high blood pressure, cigarette smoking and lack of physical activity.

If you are having any of the signs and symptoms of a stroke, it is important to call 911 immediately. Many people don’t know they are having a stroke and delay getting medical care.  Getting medical care immediately can vastly increase the chances of a good outcome, and can even save your life.

Diagnosis of a Stroke

A stroke is diagnosed by taking a careful medical history and administering these tests:  blood work to test how fast your blood is clotting and to check for infections, A CT scan or an MRI to have a visual imaging of the brain, a carotid ultrasound, an echocardiogram, and an arteriography to view the smaller blood vessels in the brain.

Books For People Who Have Survived a Stroke

Living With Stroke: A Guide for Families
Richard C. Senelick
Stroke For Dummies
John R. Marler

Stronger After Stroke: Your Roadmap to Recovery
Peter G. Levine
Brain, Heal Thyself: A Caregiver’s New Approach to Recovery from Stroke, Aneurysm, And Traumatic Brain Injuries
Madonna Siles

Stroke Resources

General Patient Resources

  • National Stroke Association

National Stroke Association’s mission is to reduce the incidence and impact of stroke by developing compelling education and programs focused on prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and support for all impacted by stroke.

  • American Stroke Association

American Heart Association division established in 1998 to reduce the impact of stroke. The division’s Web-based offerings include prevention and recovery fact sheets.

  • National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Information sheet compiled by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).

  • Med Help

MedHelp’s Stroke Help Forum. This forum is for help, questions and support regarding stroke.

  • E Health Forum

Welcome to the Stroke Forum – a health community featuring member and doctor discussions ranging from a specific symptom to related conditions, treatment options, medication, side effects, diet, and emotional issues surrounding medical conditions.

  • UK Stroke Forum

Organization committed to improving stroke care in the UK. Provides information on the organisation, multidisciplinary educational events and useful resources.

Medical Resources

  • Mayo Clinic

Comprehensive overview covers symptoms, causes, treatment of interruption of brain’s blood supply.

  • Medline Plus

A service of the US National Library of Medicine.

  • Web MD

Stroke Health Center.