Symptoms of Brain Stroke

drkmh Symptoms of Brain Stroke


In getting treatment for stroke TIME is of utmost importance. The longer treatment is delayed the more damage the brain sustains.

A stroke is a medical emergency and needs to be treated with urgency. It is a condition caused when the blood supply in the brain is cut off by a block or a leak in the blood vessels. Sometimes referred to as a brain attack, it can prove fatal if the person does not receive efficient emergency care within sixty minutes of the first stroke symptom.




There are two main types of strokes: Ischaemic Stroke and Haemorrhagic Stroke, each affecting brain function differently.

An Ischaemic Stroke occurs when a blood clot occurs in an artery, therefore cutting off the flow of oxygen and blood to the brain. These clots occur in arteries that have gradually become narrow due to fatty deposits along their insides and this process is called atherosclerosis. This condition is a natural occurrence as a person age but can be hastened by certain other underlying diseases and habits such as:

  • – High Blood Pressure
  • – High Cholesterol
  • – Diabetes
  • – Obesity
  • – Smoking
  • – Excess Alcohol consumption

Atrial Fibrillation which is a type of arrhythmia can cause blood clots in the head, which disintegrate and bits of it end up in the brain, leading to a blockage.


A Haemorrhagic Stroke which is less common than an Ischaemic Stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures and bleeds in and around the brain. The prime cause for this type of stroke is high blood pressure (hypertension) which can weaken the arteries in the brain. You are at an increased risk of high BP if you:

  • – Are overweight/ obese
  • – Smoke
  • – Drink alcohol in excess
  • – Are highly stressed
  • – Lead a sedentary lifestyle



Since the onset of a stroke is sudden, it is important to be alert to symptoms. Various parts of the brain control specific parts of the body. Hence symptoms will depend on which part of the brain is affected by the block/ leak first. However, there are some common signs of a stroke that you can watch out for.

  • – Numbness in the face, arms and/or legs.
  • – Trouble seeing with one or both eyes.
  • – Confusion and trouble speaking.
  • – Lack of coordination leading to difficulty in walking.
  • – Loss of balance and dizziness
  • – Severe headache

If the person has any of these symptoms, you need to call for an ambulance immediately.




Remember the acronym BE FAST to identify a Stroke which is a recent modification of the FAST stroke test.

  • Loss of BALANCE is a red alert that something is wrong. If the person is unable to walk or coordinate muscle movements, it is a sign of changes in the brain.
  • Blurry vision, double vision, or complete loss of vision in one or both EYES is also an important symptom to watch for.
  • In most people the FACE is the first to show signs of a brain stroke. The person’s eyes or mouth will show signs of drooping on one side. He/ she will be unable to move their lips or eyebrows.
  • The person may also feel numbness and weakness in one or both ARMS. They will not be able to move or lift their arm.
  • SPEECH will also be affected. A person suffering a stroke will not be able to talk clearly. Their speech will be slurry and not cohesive.
  • In getting treatment for stroke TIME is of utmost importance. The longer treatment is delayed the more damage the brain sustains.

Even if the symptoms seem to ease up before the ambulance arrive, it is best to take the person to the hospital and have them evaluated.


Dr.Praveen Chander N - Consultant Neurologist at Dr.Kamakshi Memorial Hospitals
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