What is a Stroke/Brain Attack? - National Stroke Association


What is a Stroke/Brain Attack? - National Stroke Association

Recognizing Stroke Symptoms

Stroke is a brain attack, yet most people don't know the symptoms. In an NSA/Gallup

poll, 17 percent of the respondents over age 50 couldn't name a single stroke


Stroke is an emergency! When someone experiences any of these symptoms, it is

impossible to tell at first if it's a stroke or a transient ischemic attack (TIA). If it is a

stroke, immediate medical treatment can save the person's life and greatly enhance

chances for successful rehabilitation and recovery. If it's a TIA, the doctor will evaluate

the underlying causes and begin preventive measures. Even if these symptoms don’t

cause pain or they go away quickly — call 911 immediately.

Sudden numbness

or weakness of

face, arm or leg,

especially on one

side of the body

Sudden severe

headache with no

known cause

Sudden trouble

seeing in one

or both eyes

Other Important but less common stroke symptoms include:

• Sudden nausea, fever and vomiting — distinguished from a viral illness by the speed

of onset (minutes or hours vs. several days)

• Brief loss of consciousness or period of decreased consciousness (fainting, confusion,

convulsions or coma)

National Stroke Association’s Complete Guide to Stroke


Sudden confusion,

trouble speaking or


Sudden trouble

walking, dizziness,

loss of balance or


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