Stroke Symptoms and Diagnosis
Stroke symptoms occur suddenly, and differ depending on the part of the brain affected. Multiple symptoms generally arise simultaneously.
If you think you are having a stroke, call 911 or your local ambulance service, and get to a hospital as soon as possible.
Symptoms of Stroke
- One-sided weakness
- Numbness on one side of face, arm, or leg
- Slurred or garbled speech
- Difficulty talking to or understanding others
- Loss of vision or difficulty seeing in one eye
- Double vision
- Difficulty with balance or coordination of arms or legs
- Severe headache (the worst headache of your life)
Tests that help doctors diagnose stroke include:
- Neurological exams
- Blood tests
- Other tests to quickly determine the cause, location, and amount of damage
- Imaging scans, such as:
- Computed tomography (CT) scan — a type of x-ray that uses a computer to make pictures of the brain.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan — a test that uses magnetic waves to make pictures of the brain.
- Arteriography (angiography) — shows arteries in the brain.
- Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) — creates a map of blood flow in the brain's vessels.
- Functional MRI — shows brain activity by picking up signals from oxygenated blood.
- Doppler ultrasound — reveals narrowing of the arteries supplying blood to the brain.