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Stroke & Risk Reduction for Stroke

What is a Stroke?

According to the Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine, stroke refers to the “sudden death of brain cells in a localized area due to inadequate blood flow.” A stroke may be hemorrhagic, resulting from the rupture of a blood vessel in the brain. Or, it may be thrombotic, the result of a blood clot stopping the flow of blood in a cerebral artery.

It is important to get immediate medical attention if you experience any of the warning signs of a stroke:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg (especially on one side of the body)
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause

Internet Resources

MedlinePlus: Stroke
Developed by the National Library of Medicine specifically for consumers, this site is a portal for both government-sponsored and privately developed health information for the lay public. It includes interactive tutorials for carotid endarterectomy (a surgical procedure to restore bloodflow to a blocked artery), preventing strokes, and stroke rehabilitation.

American Stroke Association
This association focuses on reducing risk, disability, and death from stroke through research, education, fund raising, and advocacy.

Internet Stroke Center
This site for patients and families from Washington University in St. Louis includes information on all aspects of stroke and stroke survivorship. It includes videos that can be viewed over the Internet.

Interventional Radiology Procedures for Prevention and Treatment of Stroke
This written discussion provided by the Society of Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology explains stroke, the different types of stroke, risk factors, and treatments.


  • Resistance training for special populations. Swank AM. 2010.
  • Stroke recovery and rehabilitation. Stein J, ed. 2009.
  • Comfort of home, stroke edition: a guide for stroke caregivers. Meyer MM. 2007.
  • Brain, heal thyself: a caregiver’s new approach to recovery from stroke, aneurysm, and traumatic brain injuries. Siles M. 2006.
  • How to prevent your stroke. Spence JD. 2006.
  • Life after stroke: the guide to recovering your health and preventing another stroke. Stein J. 2006.
  • Stroke. Caplan LR. 2006.
  • After a stroke: 300 tips for making life easier. Hutton C. 2005.
  • Gale encyclopedia of neurological disorders. Chamberlin S., ed. 2005.

Available in print in the Health Learning Center or electronically at http://www.nmh.org/nm/health+library+virtual+library.

  • Stroke and the family: a new guide. Stein J. 2004.
  • Striking back at stroke: a doctor-patient journal. Hutton C. 2003.

Journal Articles

  • “Attack and defend: a primer on preventing and spotting strokes. Diabetes Forecast. 64(5): 28-9. May 2011.
  • “Statins and stroke: prevention and beyond.” Prinz V. Current Opinion in Neurology. 24(1):75-80. Feb. 2011
  • “Stroke facts: knowing the signs and acting in time. Mayo Clinic Women’s Healthsource. 15(1):1-2. Jan 2011.
  • “Comparing procedures for stroke prevention.” Johns Hopkins Medical Letter, Health after 50, 20(11):3,7. Jan. 2009.
  • “Sleep duration affects stroke risk in postmenopausal women.” Harvard Women's Health Watch. 16(2):6, 2008 Oct.
  • “Preventing stroke. You can do it—if you know your risks and take steps to reduce them.” Harvard Women's Health Watch. 15(3):4-6, 2007 Nov.


  • Stroke at time of diagnosis. 30 min.
  • Stroke: reducing the risk. 12 min.


  • Brain
  • Brain stem
  • Brain pathology


National Stroke Association
9707 East Easter Lane
Englewood CO 80112
Voice: 1.800.STROKES
E-mail: info@stroke.org

Contact Us

For more information, please contact the Health Learning Center at 312.926.5465 or HLC@nmh.org.

Last UpdateDecember 2, 2011