Given that a stroke is the third most common cause of death in the UK, and a leading cause of disability, most of us know someone who has been affected. It has even been a recent storyline on BBC Radio 4’s The Archers!
A stroke happens when a blood clot or bleed in the brain causes damage, or death, to an area of brain tissue. Like a heart attack, this is a brain attack, and how this affects someone depends on where this occurs in their brain, and how much damage has been done. If damage occurs in the area of the brain responsible for breathing, for example, this can cause immediate death. If it occurs on the left side of the brain, the right side of the body is affected.