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January 2009 Mayo Clinic Women's HealthSource Highlights Stroke Symptoms, Personal Health Records and Volunteering
Date:1/15/2009

ROCHESTER, Minn., Jan. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Here are highlights from the January issue of Mayo Clinic Women's HealthSource. You may cite this publication as often as you wish. Mayo Clinic Women's HealthSource attribution is required. Reprinting is allowed for a fee. Include the following subscription information as your editorial policies permit: Visit www.bookstore.mayoclinic.com or call toll-free for subscription information, 800-876-8633, extension 9751.

To Prevent Death or Disability, Seek immediate care when stroke symptoms occur

Recognizing the symptoms of stroke and seeking immediate treatment could save your life. What's immediate? Ideally, treatment for ischemic stroke -- the most common type -- begins within three hours of symptom onset, says Irene Meissner, M.D., Mayo Clinic neurologist, in the January issue of Mayo Clinic Women's HealthSource.

Ischemic stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is suddenly interrupted by a blockage in a blood vessel or artery. Less common, a hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel breaks, causing bleeding on the brain. Either can be deadly or disabling. In the United States, stroke is the third-leading cause of death in women and the fourth-leading cause in men. And, stroke is the leading cause of long-term disability.

Typically stroke warning signs occur suddenly and may include painless weakness in an arm or leg, numbness or weakness of the face or one side of the body, slurring of the speech or language difficulty, and trouble seeing with one or both eyes. In addition, some people may get dizzy or feel unsteady. A sudden, severe or unusual headache -- sometimes described as your worst headache ever -- also can be a symptom.

In some cases, these symptoms go away without treatment.

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