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The commonest form of stroke occurs when a blood vessel bringing oxygen and nutrients to the brain is suddenly clogged by a blood clot or some other particle.

Because of this blockage, part of the brain doesn't get the flow of blood it needs. Without a proper flow of blood, part of the brain is deprived of oxygen, nerve cells in the affected area of the brain can't function and many die within minutes.

When nerve cells can't function, the part of the body controlled by these cells stops working. The devastating effects of stroke often do not recover well because the dead brain cells aren't replaced.

The after effects of stroke range from very mild to severely devastating. Strokes affect different people in different ways, depending on the type of stroke, the area of the brain affected and the extent of the brain injury. 

The main risk factors for stroke are high blood pressure, family history, smoking, heart disease, diabetes and an excessive alcohol intake. The more risk factors you have the more at risk of stroke you are.

Knowing the warning signs of stroke could help to save a life:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body.
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding.
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
  • Sudden trouble walking, with dizziness, loss of balance or co-ordination.
  • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause.

For more information please log onto www.stroke.ie

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