A stroke occurs when a blocked vessel or artery prevents blood from getting to part of the brain, or when a vessel or artery bursts and spills blood into the brain. The blood supplies the brain with the oxygen and nutrients it needs to work properly. When part of the brain cannot get the blood it needs, it becomes damaged or dies. The sudden flooding of blood into the brain also can cause damage or death to the brain cells (neurons).
There are two types of stroke:
Sometimes called a mini-stroke, a transient ischemic attack (TIA) starts with the same symptoms of a full stroke but does not progress and cause the damage of a full stroke. A TIA is a warning that a person is at risk for a more serious stroke in the future.1
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