In America, stroke is the No. 1 cause of adult disability and the No. 3 cause of death. Each year 750,000 people will be stricken.
Understanding strokes – what they are and what causes them – may help you prevent a stroke or reduce your risk of having another one.
Strokes are caused by blocked or ruptured blood vessels in the brain. This starves brain cells of life-giving oxygen. If the blockage or rupture lasts long enough, the oxygen-starved part of the brain dies, and capabilities are lost.
Fortunately, many strokes can be stopped if caught quickly. The brain also has a remarkable ability to re-learn lost abilities.
If you have already had a stroke, the most important fact you should know is that your chances of having another one are nine times greater, so know the warning signs.
When a stroke begins, time is important. A blood clot in the brain kills about 32,000 brain cells every second, so act fast. Call 911 and get to a hospital as quickly as possible.
With prompt treatment, brain damage can be slowed, and even stopped.