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A stroke occurs when the brain does not get a sufficient amount of blood (oxygen), and as such brain cells begin to die. This is usually caused by a blockage in the arteries that lead to and within the brain. Some may experience a TIA (or a mini stroke) which is caused by a temporary brain clot.

The effects of a stroke may vary depending on the area of the brain the obstruction affects, and the severity of the blockage. Some symptoms may include paralysis on some parts of the body, speech problems, vision problems, memory loss or a change in behaviour.

A good acronym to remember to identify a stoke is F.A.S.T. F – face dropping, A – arm weakness, S – speech difficulty, T – time to call 911. Acting quickly is crucial to the person’s health.