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Stroke is the fifth-leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It's also a leading cause of disability. But, when treated soon after symptoms start, the effects of stroke often can be lessened or reversed.
A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of your brain is interrupted or reduced, depriving brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients. Within minutes, brain cells begin to die. Prompt treatment is crucial because early action can minimize brain damage and potential complications.
Watch for these signs and symptoms if you think you or someone else may be having a stroke. Pay attention to when the signs and symptoms begin. The length of time they have been present can affect your treatment options:
Seek immediate medical attention if you notice any signs or symptoms of a stroke, even if they seem to fluctuate or disappear. Think "FAST" and do the following:
Call 911 or your local emergency number right away. Don't wait to see if symptoms stop. Every minute counts. The longer a stroke goes untreated, the greater the potential for brain damage and disability.
Learn more about strokes and find more health and medical information on mayoclinic.org. This article is written by Mayo Clinic staff.
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