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A stroke happens when the blood supply to part of the brain is interrupted. As a result brain cells get less of the oxygen and nutrients that they need. Some brain cells can become damaged and others can die. This can cause different effects depending on where it happens in your brain.
There are two types of stroke:
A transient ischaemic attack (TIA) is similar to a stroke, but the symptoms do not last longer than 24 hours. See the section 'What is a TIA?' for more information about transient ischaemic attacks.
A stroke is a medical emergency. Urgent treatment is essential because the sooner a person receives treatment for a stroke, the better the outcome is likely to be.
If you think that you or someone else is having a stroke phone 999 immediately and ask for an ambulance.
The signs and symptoms of stroke include:
If you have any of these symptoms, even for just a short amount of time, call 999 and ask for for an ambulance.