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Stroke, or brain attack, is a disruption of blood flow to the brain. Brain cells and tissue deprived of oxygen and nutrients will begin to die within minutes.

Early treatment can minimize damage and potential long-term complications.

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and a leading cause of disability.

Death rates have declined in the last 20 or 30 years, thanks to raised awareness of major risk factors-high blood pressure, smoking, and high cholesterol-and advancements in stroke treatment.

There are two main types of stroke: ischemic and hemorrhagic

In ischemic stroke, accounting for about 85 percent of all cases, a blood clot obstructs a vessel that supplies the brain.

In hemorrhagic stroke, accounting for about 15 percent of cases, a broken blood vessel disrupts the flow to the brain.

Whatever the cause, symptoms of stroke include sudden dizziness, blurred or double vision, severe headache, vomiting, altered consciousness, and numbness, weakness, or paralysis on one side of the face or body.