The most common symptoms of stroke are facial drooping, arm weakness and difficulty speaking, lists the American Stroke Association. Other signs of a stroke include sudden numbness, confusion, severe headache and trouble walking or seeing.
A stroke occurs when the arteries carrying blood and oxygen to the brain are suddenly blocked, states the American Stoke Association. There are three different kinds of strokes: ischemic, hemorrhagic and transient ischemic attacks. The ischemic stroke is caused by a clot that completely blocks a blood vessel that supplies the brain. A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when blood vessels rupture. A transient ischemic attack is considered a warning stroke since it is caused by a temporary clot.
Some stroke risk factors that cannot be changed include age, race, sex, family history of stroke, and prior history of stroke or heart attack. Women, African-Americans and those over the age of 55 are all at an increased risk of stroke, reports the American Stroke Association. High blood pressure, smoking, diabetes mellitus, high cholesterol, and heart or artery disease are risk factors for stroke that can be treated or controlled.
When symptoms of a stroke or transient ischemic attack occur, a doctor does a physical and neurological examination, followed by a CT or MRI scan. Blood flow tests are also done to show if there is a change in blood flow to the brain. Treatment of a stroke depends on the type of stroke. Types of treatment include medications, endovascular procedures and surgery, explains the American Stroke Association.