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What is a stroke?

A stroke occurs when a section of the brain is deprived of oxygen and the cells begin to die. This happens for one of two reasons: (1) A blood vessel in the brain becomes blocked, or (2) a blood vessel in the brain ruptures. Both of these situations cause damage to brain tissues and structures. If you or someone you are with is experiencing symptoms of a stroke (loss of muscle tone or paralysis on one side, slurred or confused speech, sudden blindness, confusion, and/or severe headache), call 911 (or the emergency number in your area).

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