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What is a Stroke?

A stroke is a brain injury resulting from a blocked or leaking blood vessel that carries blood to the brain.


Blocked Artery Strokes - Ischemic Strokes

 The brain needs a steady supply of blood flow carrying oxygen and nutrients – without it, brain injury occurs within minutes. Strokes from blood clots, also called Ischemic strokes, account for 85 % of all strokes.  They are caused by a lack of blood flow to the brain due to blockage of a brain artery. The most common causes are:


Bleeding Stroke - Hemorrhagic Stroke

15 % of all strokes occur when a blood vessel in the brain breaks open – causing bleeding in or around the brain. This is also called a hemorrhagic stroke. Two main types are:


Warning signs of a Stroke:


A stroke is medical emergency that must be treated right away. Even if the symptoms go away at first, some patients will go on to have a stroke, usually within hours or even days.



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Go to the Stroke health topic, where you can:

Last Reviewed: Jun 27, 2014

School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University