A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of your brain is interrupted or reduced, preventing brain tissue from getting oxygen and nutrients. Brain cells begin to die in minutes.

A stroke is a medical emergency, and prompt treatment is crucial. Early action can reduce brain damage and other complications.

The good news is that many fewer Americans die of stroke now than in the past. Effective treatments can also help prevent disability from stroke.

People may experience:
Muscular: difficulty walking, instability, paralysis with weak muscles, problems with coordination, stiff muscles, overactive reflexes, or paralysis of one side of the body
Visual: blurred vision, double vision, sudden visual loss, or temporary loss of vision in one eye
Speech: difficulty speaking, slurred speech, or speech loss
Whole body: fatigue, light-headedness, or vertigo
Limbs: numbness or weakness
Sensory: pins and needles or reduced sensation of touch
Facial: muscle weakness or numbness
Also common: difficulty swallowing, headache, inability to understand, mental confusion, or rapid involuntary eye movement