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Stroke

A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is suddenly interrupted or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts, spilling blood into the spaces surrounding brain cells. Brain cells die when they no longer receive oxygen and nutrients from the blood or there is sudden bleeding into or around the brain. The symptoms of a stroke include sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body; sudden confusion or trouble speaking or understanding speech; sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes; sudden trouble with walking, dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination; or sudden severe headache with no known cause. There are two forms of stroke: ischemic - blockage of a blood vessel supplying the brain, and hemorrhagic - bleeding into or around the brain.

Treatment

Generally there are three treatment stages for stroke: prevention, therapy immediately after the stroke, and post-stroke rehabilitation. Therapies to prevent a first or recurrent stroke are based on treating an individual's underlying risk factors for stroke, such as hypertension, atrial fibrillation, and diabetes. Acute stroke therapies try to stop a stroke while it is happening by quickly dissolving the blood clot causing an ischemic stroke or by stopping the bleeding of a hemorrhagic stroke. Post-stroke rehabilitation helps individuals overcome disabilities that result from stroke damage. Medication or drug therapy is the most common treatment for stroke. The most popular classes of drugs used to prevent or treat stroke are antithrombotics (antiplatelet agents and anticoagulants) and thrombolytics.

Prognosis

Although stroke is a disease of the brain, it can affect the entire body. A common disability that results from stroke is complete paralysis on one side of the body, called hemiplegia. A related disability that is not as debilitating as paralysis is one-sided weakness or hemiparesis. Stroke may cause problems with thinking, awareness, attention, learning, judgment, and memory. Stroke survivors often have problems understanding or forming speech. A stroke can lead to emotional problems. Stroke patients may have difficulty controlling their emotions or may express inappropriate emotions. Many stroke patients experience depression. Stroke survivors may also have numbness or strange sensations. The pain is often worse in the hands and feet and is made worse by movement and temperature changes, especially cold temperatures.Recurrent stroke is frequent; about 25 percent of people who recover from their first stroke will have another stroke within 5 years.

Research

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) conducts stroke research and clinical trials at its laboratories and clinics at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and through grants to major medical institutions across the country. Currently, NINDS researchers are studying the mechanisms of stroke risk factors and the process of brain damage that results from stroke. Basic research has also focused on the genetics of stroke and stroke risk factors. Scientists are working to develop new and better ways to help the brain repair itself to restore important functions.  New advances in imaging and rehabilitation have shown that the brain can compensate for function lost as a result of stroke.

View a list of studies currently seeking patients.

View more studies on this condition.

Read additional information from Medline Plus.

Organizations

National Aphasia Association

Promotes the care, welfare, and rehabilitation of people with aphasia through public education and support of research. Offers printed materials, a toll-free information hotline, a newsletter, and a listing of support groups.

P.O. Box 87
Scarsdale, NY 10583
naa@aphasia.org
http://www.aphasia.org
Tel: 212-267-2814 800-922-4NAA (4622)
Fax: 212-267-2812

Fibromuscular Dysplasia Society of America (FMDSA)

We are a voluntary, not-for-profit organization and programs like these can not succeed without your support. Through volunteerism, membership, financial contributions, and event participation, the FMDSA can fulfill our vision and improve the quality of life of those affected by Fibromuscular Dysplasia.

20325 Center Ridge Road Suite 620
Rocky River, OH 44116
admin@fmdsa.org
http://www.fmdsa.org/
Tel: 216-834-2410 888-709-7089

YoungStroke, Inc.

National patient advocacy organization benefiting adult stroke survivors under 65. Works to change public perception of stroke through education and promotes research to enhance quality of life for survivors and their caregivers. Initiatives include education for health professionals and patients, public service campaigns, support group launches and more.

P.O. Box 692
Conway, SC 29528
info@youngstroke.org
http://www.youngstroke.org
Tel: 843-248-9019; 843-655-2835

American Stroke Association: A Division of American Heart Association

Offers a wide array of programs, products, and services, from patient education materials to scientific statements with cutting-edge information for healthcare professionals.

7272 Greenville Avenue
Dallas, TX 75231-4596
strokeinfo@heart.org
http://www.strokeassociation.org
Tel: 1-888-4STROKE (478-7653)
Fax: 214-706-5231

Brain Aneurysm Foundation

The Brain Aneurysm Foundation is the nation's only nonprofit organization solely dedicated to providing critical awareness, education, support and research funding to reduce the incidence of brain aneurysms.

269 Hanover Street, Building 3
Hanover, MA 02339
office@bafound.org
http://www.bafound.org
Tel: 781-826-5556 888-BRAIN02 (272-4602)

Brain Attack Coalition

The Brain Attack Coalition is a group of professional, voluntary and governmental entities dedicated to reducing the occurrence, disabilities and death associated with stroke. The goal of the Coalition is to strengthen and promote the relationships among its member organizations in order to help people who have had a stroke or are at risk for a stroke.

31 Center Drive
Room 8A07
Bethesda, MD 20892-2540
http://www.brainattackcoalition.org/
Tel: 301-496-5751
Fax: 301-402-2186

National Stroke Association

National non-profit organization that offers education, services and community-based activities in prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and recovery. Serves the public and professional communities, people at risk, patients and their health care providers, stroke survivors, and their families and caregivers.

9707 East Easter Lane
Suite B
Centennial, CO 80112-3747
info@stroke.org
http://www.stroke.org
Tel: 303-649-9299 800-STROKES (787-6537)
Fax: 303-649-1328

Children's Hemiplegia and Stroke Assocn. (CHASA)

CHASA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and families affected by pediatric stroke and other causes of hemiplegia. Offers national family retreat, local family events and seminars, online support group, websites, fact sheets, clinical study information, and pediatric stroke awareness campaigns.

4101 West Green Oaks Blvd., Ste. 305
PMB 149
Arlington, TX 76016
info437@chasa.org
http://www.chasa.org
Tel: 817-492-4325

Hazel K. Goddess Fund for Stroke Research in Women

Non-profit organization that focuses on critical issues specific to stroke in women, including research, prevention, treatment, education, and advocacy.

785 Park Road, #3E
New York, NY 10021
anne@thegoddessfund.org
http://www.thegoddessfund.org

Heart Rhythm Society

Nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing death and disability due to heart rhythm disorders, such as atrial fibrillation.

1325 G Street, N.W.
Suite 400
Washington, DC 20005
support@heartrhythmfoundation.org
http://www.hrsonline.org
Tel: 202-464-3454
Fax: 202-464-3405

BrightFocus Foundation

Non-profit charitable organization dedicated to funding research and educating the public on Alzheimer's disease, glaucoma, and macular degeneration.

22512 Gateway Center Drive
Clarksburg, MD 20871
info@brightfocus.org
http://www.brightfocus.org/alzheimers/
Tel: 1- 800-437-2423
Fax: 301-258-9454

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