National Stroke Council


The National Stroke Council is devoted to research and education on the causes and effects of brain attack (stroke), our nation's third largest killer.

What is a Stroke?

A stroke is a “brain attack.” Blood and oxygen are blocked off from reaching vital brain cells and the brain cells die. There are three types of stroke; a blood vessel in the brain becomes blocked by fatty deposits or blocked by a blood clot, or a blood vessel ruptures. A stroke can be fatal, or leave the victim with lasting debilitating effects.

Early Warning Signs of Stroke

If you experience any of the following warning signs, call 911 or have someone take you to a hospital immediately. Stroke is a medical emergency. There are treatments that can help reverse the signs of stroke, but they must be given soon after the symptoms start.

  • Temporary blurring or dimming of vision.
  • Temporary blindness.
  • Temporary inability to understand written or spoken words.
  • Temporary change in speech.
  • Tingling feeling around mouth.
  • Temporary numbness or loss of use of an arm or leg.
  • Temporary dizzy spell, mainly if it occurs together with one or more if the above symptoms.

Remember: Denying these dangerous symptoms can kill you! Get medical help right away.

Following are some of the educational materials developed and disseminated by the Council:

Five Minute Guide to Stroke (Brain Attack) Prevention & Survival

straight frm heartThis compact, information laden brochure identifies the early warning signs of brain attack (stroke), explains the different types of stroke, and provides a simple test to assess one's risk of experiencing brain attack. Included is a primer course on preventing stroke, and the steps you can take when someone is having a stroke. This Five Minute Guide is a popular handout at health fairs and in hospital waiting rooms.

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Stroke Survival Manual

5min guide 2heartWhen stroke (brain attack) affects a spouse or family member, it often leaves loved ones unsure what to expect and what to do. This booklet explains what happens when one experiences a stroke and provides advice regarding rehabilitation, emotional support, lifestyle changes, and steps one can take to minimize the chances of experiencing a stroke again, or for the first time.

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Stop Brain Attack!

heart survival manualThis handy pocket guide includes the symptoms and risk factors for brain attack. Importantly, it also provides questions one can ask the doctor to assess his or her personal risk for brain attack. The specific tests, which need to be done, are also listed along with space to record the results.

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Water - The Forgotten Requirement

waterMany of us are becoming more active, talking walks in the neighborhood, working in the garden, playing sports, jogging, and enjoying other forms of physical exercise. While these activities are good for the heart, not to mention the spirit, it's very important that we drink enough water to prevent becoming dehydrated. Most of us don't pay enough attention to our need for water. Failure to replace water our body loses every day due to breathing, sweating, and eliminating waste, can cause serious health problems and can even lead to death if not treated in a timely manner. This timely booklet provides important facts about our need for water, how we can recognize the symptoms of dehydration, and how to go about getting the water our bodies need.

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Brain Attack Poster

aspirin pill ackIn conjunction with the University of Maryland Medical Center's Brain Attack Center, the National Stroke Council created a laminated poster, suitable for hanging in a doctor's office. It contains key information about stroke and the questions patients should ask their doctor to assess their risk of stroke. A study, which was conducted by the Brain Attack Center, concluded that the poster made a significant and lasting difference in educating patients about stroke.

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TIA Center

Through the National Stroke Council, NEMA provides grant funds for education, lifesaving medical equipment, and applied research. A recent grant from us has helped to establish the first TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack) early detection and treatment center in the country. In addition to seeing patients, it will provide consultation on stroke to physicians in other states. It will hopefully serve as a model for others. Click below to read about this new project.

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