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A stroke is a brain attack. It happens when the blood supply to part of your brain is cut off. Blood carries essential supplies and oxygen to your brain. Without blood your brain cells can be damaged or die. This damage can have different effects, depending on where it happens in your brain. A stroke can affect the way your body works as well as how you think, feel and communicate.  There are different types of stroke, mostly caused by a blockage stopping the supply of blood to the brain, though they can also be caused by bleeding in or around the brain.

What causes a stroke?

As we age our arteries become harder and narrower and more likely to become blocked. However, certain medical conditions and lifestyle factors can speed up this process and increase your risk of having a stroke.

Is it possible to recover from stroke?

All strokes are different. For some people the effects may be relatively minor and may not last long. Others may be left with more serious problems that make them dependent on other people. Unfortunately not everyone survives – around one in eight people die within 30 days of having a stroke. That’s why it’s so important to be able to recognise the symptoms and get medical help as quickly as possible.  The quicker someone receives treatment, the better their chances of a good recovery.


A stroke is a medical emergency. If someone shows any signs of having a stroke you need to seek immediate medical attention.

Act F.A.S.T.

FAST test – This can help you to recognise some of the most common symptoms of a stroke:
  • FACIAL WEAKNESS: Can the person smile? Has their face fallen on one side?
  • ARM WEAKNESS: Can the person raise both arms and keep them there?
  • SPEECH PROBLEMS: Can the person speak clearly and understand what you say? Is their speech slurred?
  • TIME TO CALL 999.

If a person fails any one of these tests, get help immediately by dialling 999.

To find out more about strokes go to the Stroke Association website.

If you want to find out more about how other people have dealt with the aftermath of strokes join the conversation in the Age Space Forum.

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