Health Watch -- Stroke: What a stroke is

Health Watch is a public service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on Health Watch, we're talking about strokes, which are a major cause of death and disability. While there are treatments for stroke, most patients don't get help in time for the treatments to do any good.

A stroke occurs when a blood vessel leading to the brain is blocked or bursts. The lack of blood supply to the brain causes parts of the brain to die from lack of oxygen and nutrients. That causes impairment in the parts of the body controlled by those parts of the brain. Treatments for stroke include drugs to break up clots and restore blood flow to the brain.

Dr. Mark Johnson, a neurologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says because strokes usually don't cause pain, many people don't realize there's a problem and they don't see a doctor for hours — or sometimes even weeks.



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September 2006

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