Stroke is a sudden loss of brain function. It is caused by the interruption of blood flow to the brain as a result of a blood clot (ischemic stroke), or by the rupture of a blood vessel in the brain (hemorrhagic stroke).
A brain artery may sometimes be blocked temporarily; in this case, recovery occurs naturally and there are no long-term effects. This is called transient ischemic attack (TIA) or mini stroke. The symptoms are the same as for stroke, but usually last less than an hour. A TIA should be taken seriously since it can be followed by a more serious stroke within 48 hours. You should see a doctor right away.
Did you know?
- In Québec, around 200,000 people a year have a stroke.
- Over 3/4 of strokes occur in people aged 65 and up.
It’s important to know the signs of stroke and to call 9-1-1 right away if you witness these signs or think you are having a stroke. Strokes can have various effects, but about 1 in 10 people recovers fully. More than half of people experience ongoing effects.
Recognizing the signs and acting FAST could mean the difference between life and death, full recovery or long-term disability.
Protection and prevention
- Quit smoking
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Stay physically active
- Keep blood pressure in a healthy range
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet
- Take the medications your doctor prescribes
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Atrial fibrillation