Stroke: an animation 

This animation explains how a stroke happens, the different types of stroke and how lifestyle changes may help to reduce the risks.

Learn more about stroke

Transcript of Stroke: an animation

A stroke occurs when the flow of blood to part of the brain is cut off.

A stroke is a medical emergency and urgent treatment is essential.

What causes a stroke?

To function properly, braincells need a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients,

which they get from blood.

When the blood supply to part of the brain is suddenly stopped,

braincells become damaged or die.

This can lead to permanent brain damage or even death.

Different areas in the brain

control the function of different parts of the body,

each receiving its blood supply from four main arteries in the neck

and their smaller branches in the brain.

The level of brain damage caused by a stroke varies greatly

and depends on the blood vessel affected.

A stroke may go unnoticed if only a small blood vessel is affected.

But if a large blood vessel is blocked,

it may lead to long-term disability or death.

There are two types of stroke.

Ischaemic stroke is the most common, most often caused by a blood clot

or a piece of fatty material blocking an artery...

..restricting its blood flow

Haemorrhagic stroke is when the walls of a blood vessel in the brain

become weak and burst,

causing bleeding and brain damage.

Transient Ischaemic Attack, TIA or mini stroke,

is similar to a stroke, but the brain's blood supply is temporarily blocked

and the effects of the blockage get better within 24 hours.

The clot either breaks up quickly

or the affected area receives blood from nearby blood vessels.

TIAs do not cause permanent brain damage,

but are important because they are often a warning sign for a stroke.

Other risk factors for stroke include:

..can all help reduce the risk of getting a stroke.

It is important to seek immediate medical attention if you have a stroke.

The sooner you get help, the better the chance of a good recovery.

Ratings

How helpful is this page?

Average rating

Based on 43 ratings

All ratings

Add your rating

Recovering from a stroke

The practical, emotional and financial support available for people who have had a stroke and their carers.

Photo of stroke case study

'I'm a stroke survivor'

A stroke forced Jim Whyte to give up work. Now he makes a point of living an active, healthy life. Hear his story