A stroke is a serious medical condition that occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off.
Like all organs, the brain needs the oxygen and nutrients provided by blood to function properly. If the supply of blood is restricted or stopped, brain cells begin to die. This can lead to brain damage and possibly death.
Strokes are a medical emergency and prompt treatment is essential because the sooner a person receives treatment for a stroke, the less damage is likely to happen.
The NHS Stroke Act FAST pages offer a great deal of information about stroke, including how to recognise the signs, some real stories of stroke sufferers and advice on how to live your life after a stroke.
NHS - Stroke
Chest Heart & Stroke Charity (N.Ireland)
Chest Heart & Stroke Charity (Scotland)
Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA)
A transient ischaemic attack (TIA), or 'mini-stroke', is caused by a temporary fall in the blood supply to part of the brain, leading to a lack of oxygen to the brain. This can cause symptoms that are similar to a stroke, although they don’t last as long. A TIA lasts only a few minutes and is usually resolved within 24 hours
As TIAs are serious, it is important that they are always investigated so that appropriate treatment can be given quickly. With treatment, the risk of a further TIA or a full stroke can be greatly reduced.