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Understanding Stroke

Each year, an estimated 600,000 Americans experience a new or recurrent stroke. Specifically, men are at greater risk than women, but more women have fatal strokes.

A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is suddenly interrupted or a blood vessel in the brain bursts, spilling blood into the spaces surrounding the vessels. A stroke may bring weakness or paralysis to parts of the body and can result in problems with vision and speech, as well as fear, confusion and disorientation.

The blockage of, or hemmorage from, the blood vessels to the brain that occurs during a stroke can cause either temporary or permanent brain damage. In either case, rehabilitation is of the utmost imortance to the recovery of the stroke survivor as it is designed to help him or her return to independent living.


Primary Means of Rehabilitation

Warning Signs

See your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following, even for a few seconds or minutes:

Risk Factors

Medical Terms to Understand

Aphasia: A partial or total loss of the ability to use words. A stroke can cause aphasia if it damages the brain's language center. Some people recover quickly and completely; others may have permanent speech and language problems.

Ischemic Stroke: The blocking of a blood vessel in the brain, usually by a piece of clot floating in the blood stream. This type accounts for 80 percent of strokes, affecting mostly older people.

TIA: Transient ischemic attacks, ""warning strokes," happen when a blood clot clogs an artery for a short time. They can happen before a stroke and have the same symptoms.

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