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Symptoms of a stroke happen quickly. If you have symptoms of a stroke, call 911 or other emergency services right away.
General symptoms of a stroke include:
Sudden numbness, tingling, weakness, or loss of movement in your face, arm, or leg, especially on only one side of your body.
Sudden vision changes.
Sudden trouble speaking.
Sudden confusion or trouble understanding simple statements.
Sudden problems with walking or balance.
A sudden, severe headache that is different from past headaches.
FAST is a simple way to remember the main symptoms of stroke. Recognizing these symptoms helps you know when to call for medical help. FAST stands for:
Time to call 911.
Brain damage can begin within minutes. That's why it's so important to know the symptoms of stroke and to act fast. Quick treatment can help limit damage to the brain and increase the chance of a full recovery.
See your doctor if you have symptoms that seem like a stroke, even if they go away quickly. You may have had a transient ischemic attack (TIA), sometimes called a mini-stroke. A TIA is a warning that a stroke may happen soon. Getting early treatment for a TIA can help prevent a stroke.
Symptoms can vary depending on whether the stroke is caused by a blood clot (ischemic stroke) or bleeding (hemorrhagic stroke). They also depend on where the stroke occurs in the brain, and how bad it is.
A stroke usually happens suddenly, but it may occur over hours. For example, you may have mild weakness at first. Over time, you may not be able to move the arm and leg on one side of your body.
If several smaller strokes occur over time, you may have a more gradual change in walking, balance, thinking, or behavior. This is called multi-infarct dementia.
It isn't always easy for people to recognize symptoms of a small stroke. They may mistakenly think the symptoms are a sign of aging. Or the symptoms may be confused with those of other conditions that cause similar symptoms.
Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate a new medical approach, device, drug, or other treatment. As a Stanford Health Care patient, you may have access to the latest, advanced clinical trials.
Open trials refer to studies currently accepting participants. Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.