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 - Northwestern Memorial Hospital - Chicago


Stroke describes a blockage or bursting of a blood vessel in the brain, causing the flow of blood to your brain to be stopped, which causes brain cells to die.

The most common kind of stroke is the ischemic stroke, caused when a blood clot blocks a blood vessel in the brain.

Hemorrhagic stroke describes the kind of stroke caused by the breaking of a blood vessel in the brain.

Transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) or "mini-strokes" occur when there is a temporary interruption of blood to the brain.

There are also a number of conditions that can cause strokes to occur, including:

  • Carotid artery disease
  • Fibromuscular dysplasia
  • Moyamoya disease
  • Patent foramen ovale


A stroke is a medical emergency, and you should always call 911 if a stroke is suspected.

Last UpdateApril 30, 2012