Different areas of the brain are responsible for different functions. These include sensation, movement, sight, speech, balance, and coordination.
The symptoms of stroke vary depending on which area of the brain is damaged. Symptoms can include:
Headache, with or without vomiting
Dizziness or confusion
Weakness or paralysis on one side of the body
Sudden, severe numbness in any part of the body
Visual disturbance, including sudden loss of vision
Difficulty walking, including staggering or veering
Coordination problems in the arms and hands
Slurred speech or inability to speak
Sudden deviation of the eyes toward one direction
The sudden appearance of one or more of these symptoms is a warning sign that a stroke may be in progress.
In some cases, strokes are preceded by one or more transient ischemic attacks (TIAs). TIAs are brief episodes of stroke-like symptoms. They last less than 24 hours, most commonly for only 5 to 20 minutes.