What is a Stroke?

A stroke happens when blood flow to any part of the brain stops. If blood flow is cut off for longer than a few seconds, the brain cannot get nutrients and oxygen. Brain cells can die, causing death or serious lasting damage. The longer the time that the brain is cut off from oxygen, the more severe the damage.

Each part of our brain has a different function, so the effects of a stroke vary depending on which part of the brain is affected. Some common lasting effects are:

  • difficulty speaking
  • difficulty understanding others’ speech
  • difficulty reading and writing
  • difficulty naming objects
  • loss of coordination
  • absence of sensation or complete paralysis of one side of the body
  • muscle spasms