Stroke is among the leading causes of death in the United States and is a major cause of adult disability. There are two types of strokes that cause damage to the brain by stopping blood flow: ischemic and hemorrhagic. Ischemic strokes are caused by a blood clot, while hemorrhagic strokes are caused by ruptured blood vessels.
If the stroke occurs in the brain's right side, the left side of the body and face will be affected, which could produce paralysis, vision problems and inquisitive behavior. A stroke occurring on the left side of the brain may produce paralysis on the right side of the body, speech or language problems and slow, cautious behavior.
The chance of having a stroke approximately doubles for each decade of life after age 55. Gender, ethnicity and heredity have also been found to be determining factors in the likelihood of suffering a stroke. However, there are preventive measures you can take to reduce your risk of stroke, including eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, getting enough exercise, reducing alcohol consumption and not smoking.