A stroke can happen very rapidly. It is important to get medical care quickly so that further swelling of brain cells can be slowed. Sometimes patients who are having a stroke can be treated to lower their chances of having another stroke. It is possible, but less common to have a temporary stroke. This is caused by little pieces of blood clot or cholesterol temporarily blocking arteries in the brain. These are called Transient Ischemic Attacks, or TIAs. Patients may notice numbness or weakness that improves after a few minutes or hours. Persons with these temporary strokes have a very high chance of having a permanent stroke and should be treated.
It is important for a person who has had a stroke to begin to work with the part of the brain that has not been injured. This is called rehabilitation therapy. A patient can learn how to use other muscles or other parts of their brain to help make up for the injury caused by the stroke. A stroke can be a scary experience, but you might be surprised with the amount of improvement that happens during a rehabilitation program.
You have a higher than average chance of a stroke if you have:
- High blood pressure or cholesterol.
- Diabetes or heart disease.
- A smoking habit.