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Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. Itís also a leading cause of long-term disability in adults. Getting treatment for stroke victims quickly is often critical to prevent disability.
A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted. Brain cells in the immediate area begin to die because they are deprived of oxygen and nutrients they need to survive.
Neurologists deal with two major kinds of stroke. About 80% of strokes result from blood clots that block or plug a blood vessel or artery in the brain. These are called ischemic strokes. About 20% of strokes are hemorrhagic strokes ó caused by a blood vessel in the brain that breaks and bleeds into the brain.
Common causes of strokes include smoking, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, or high cholesterol. If you feel youíre at risk, seek medical consultation as soon as possible.