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Stroke: CDC outlines the main signs and how to respond

“Stroke is a brain attack and time lost is brain lost,” said Julie Bouverie. “It’s vital that if you’re showing the signs of a stroke you are assessed quickly and accurately.”


  • Facial drooping
  • Arm weakness
  • Speech difficulties
  • Time to call 999.

Bouverie said: “The FAST test is based on scientific research and helps to spot the three most common symptoms of stroke, but there are also other signs to look out for.

“These include sudden memory loss or confusion, narcolepsy topamax numbness down one side of the body or sudden problems with your vision.”

Four signs of a stroke to notice ASAP

  1. Sudden memory loss
  2. Sudden confusion
  3. Numbness down one side of the body
  4. Sudden problems with vision.

“For any one of these symptoms, act FAST and assume stroke,” Bouverie emphasised.

The expert added: “Experiences of stroke and stroke symptoms can vary from person to person.

“However, if something doesn’t feel right or if you spot the signs of a stroke in you or someone else, it’s vital to call 999 straight away.

“This lines up with getting scanned and seen by a stroke specialist as soon as possible when you arrive at the hospital.

“[Which gives] you or a loved one the best chance of survival and recovery.”

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What causes a stroke?

The NHS explains a stroke occurs “when a blood clot blocks the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain”.

Blood clots are more likely to develop in narrowed arteries, which have been affected by atherosclerosis.

This process (atherosclerosis) is natural in older age, but certain factors contribute to a faster occurrence.

Such factors include smoking, high blood pressure, obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes, and excessive alcohol intake.

Is it possible to reduce stroke risk?

Taking the risk factors into consideration, it’s entirely possible to reduce your stroke risk – whether or not you’ve already had one.

If you don’t smoke, if you abstain from alcohol, and if you exercise every day, you are able to reduce your risk of a stroke.

When it comes to medical conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, it’s key to have it under control.

Do speak to your doctor if you would like more tips on managing any of your current health conditions.

By adhering to a “low-fat, high-fibre diet”, as recommended by the NHS, you are also able to reduce your stroke risk.

Eating a variety of fruit and vegetables daily is extremely beneficial for your health.

It might be useful to have porridge oats in the morning, topped with seeds and fruits, to help towards your goal of at least five portions of fruit and veg every day.

As for exercise, if you can incorporate 30 minutes of a brisk walk daily, you will be doing yourself a favour in terms of your health.

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