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A stroke is the result of sudden loss of blood flow to the brain due to blood vessel blockage or clot burst. Loss of blood flow deprives the brain of oxygen and glucose (sugar), and causes rapid buildup of waste products that injure or kill brain cells. When brain cells are injured or die, the bodily functions they control such as speech or use of limbs are impaired or lost. Stroke can also affect your memory, ability to understand and emotions.
African Americans are at particularly high risk for stroke—almost twice the risk of first-ever strokes and higher death rates as compared to Caucasians.
There are three main types of stroke:
Many risk factors can be controlled or treated to reduce your chance of having a stroke: