How much do you really know about detecting a stroke?

John Miller

What's the most common risk factor for strokes?

High blood pressure is by far the leading risk factor for stroke. Others include diabetes, obesity, smoking and high blood cholesterol, among others.

What is a stroke?

A stroke is a health event that results in inadequate blood supply to the brain, and that results in cell destruction. It goes almost without saying that strokes are a potentially life-threatening events.

Which of the following is a well-documented warning sign of a stroke?

Sudden and severe headaches are a classic (and ominous) sign that you may be experiencing a stroke.

What's a common sign of stroke?

When strokes affect the part of the brain associated with speech, the sufferer may say strange or slurred words. It's one of the scarier manifestations of a stroke.

If you experience signs of a stroke, how can your doctor confirm the stroke?

A CT scan or MRI scan can create images of your brain, including any tissues that may have suffered damage during a stroke.

If you're rushed to the hospital with a stroke, a doctor is likely to treat you with ______.

If a doctor recognizes your stroke, he or she will likely administer a medication meant to break up blood clots. The idea is to restore blood flow before your brain suffers too much damage.

What happens during an embolic stroke?

An embolic stroke is a type of ischemic stroke. In these strokes, blood clots form somewhere in the body and eventually deprive the brain of precious blood.

What's a "silent stroke"?

A silent stroke is one that doen't have any obvious symptoms. Some people suffer silent strokes and have no idea about the danger they're experiencing. Silent strokes are far more common than symptomatic strokes.

If a stroke's symptoms last only an hour or two, the stroke is called what?

A mini-stroke is a stroke in which the symptoms come and then quickly disappear. Mini-strokes are a sure sign that you need to monitor your health, because you're at an elevated risk of a more severe stroke.

"Arm drift" is a common sign of a stroke. What does that mean?

In the emergency room, a doctor is likely to ask you to raise both arms. If one arm "drifts" or lowers involuntarily, it's a sign of a stroke.

Ischemic strokes are those that cause an interruption of blood supply in the brain. Hemorrhagic strokes are strokes in which _____.

Both types of strokes are scary events. Hemorrhagic strokes are those in which blood vessels actually rupture.

Which of the following is NOT a sign of a stroke?

Lumps aren't a problem during strokes. But a loss of vision (particularly on one side) or partial face drooping both signal a stroke.

Why do stroke symptoms so often vary from person to person?

Stroke symptoms notoriously vary from person to person. That's because strokes occur in different parts of the brain, and the affected location changes the way the stroke is manifested.

True or false: Even a minor stroke can affect your life expectancy.

Yes, even minor strokes can take years off of your life expectancy. But fast treatment can drastically improve the quality of life that you can expect following a stroke.

True or false, are all strokes basically the same?

The causes of strokes vary, and they also range from minor to major in their severity. Severe strokes often kill people right away; minor strokes, on the other hand, may be almost unnoticable.

Strokes are most common in people over the age of ______.

Strokes are uncommon in young people. They mostly strike people over 41, and especially those who are over 60.

What does the American Heart Association's F.A.S.T. acronym stand for?

The F.A.S.T. acronym reminds us that time is of the essence if you see these signs: Face Drooping, Arm Weakness, Speech Difficulty. It means it's Time to call 911!

True or false: stroke is the leading cause of adult disability in the U.S.

Sadly, it's true. Strokes cause lasting disability that hinders the ability of adults to live their lives. And about every four seconds, an American dies from a stroke.

Stroke symptoms typically last about how long?

Stroke symptoms are often fleeting. They may last for only seconds or minutes before subsiding ... but leave behind permanent damage.

How many major categories of strokes do doctors recognize?

There are two major categories of strokes. They are ischemic strokes and hemorrhagic strokes.

The American Heart Association uses a memorable acronym to help educate people about strokes. What is that acronym?

The American Heart Association knows that education is key. The organization touts its F.A.S.T. acronym to help people remember the signs of a stroke.

What percentage of strokes are preventable?

Strokes are largely a preventable problem. About 80 percent of strokes can be prevented with lifestyle changes, especially those geared towards lowering your high blood pressure.

Which type of stroke is the most common?

Ischemic strokes, those that indicate general blood flow interruptions, are by far the most common. They make up nearly 90 percent of all strokes. The rest, of course, are of the hemorrhagic variety. There are subcategories of both types of stroke.

True or false, if you experience the signs of a stroke, should you immediately take aspirin?

It's a common myth that you should gobble aspirin following signs of a stroke. Aspirin may help in the case of an ischemic stroke, but during a hemorrhagic stroke, it may actually increase bleeding, and thus, brain damage. However, taking aspirin after a mini-stroke seems to reduce the chances of future strokes.

In 2015, about how many people around the world died from strokes?

Perhaps 42 million people suffered strokes in 2015. About 6 million of them died. Strokes are no joke.

A severe headache is mostly closely associated with which type of stroke?

The sudden rupture of blood vessels that happens during a hemorrhagic stroke often causes painful headaches. It's why headaches should not be ignored.

True or false: headache is a symptom in almost all strokes.

Headaches are actually not one of the more common stroke symptoms. So take some comfort that the migraine you had yesterday isn't necessarily a sign of impending brain damage.

Of people who survive strokes, about 50 percent die within ______.

Many millions of people survive strokes. But about half of them will die within a year of a severe stroke.

Each year, about ______ Americans are affected by strokes.

Every year, about 800,000 Americans are affected by new (or chronic) strokes. Even with improving treatment options, strokes can be devastating.

What's yet another sign of stroke?

Vomiting is another scary stroke sign. Numbness, altered walking, impaired speech or listening ... these are all signs that you should seek medical attention as quickly as possible.

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About This Quiz

Strokes are the fifth-leading cause of death in America, yet not everyone knows the warning signs of this scary condition. How much do you know about stroke symptoms?

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