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What exactly is a stroke?

A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is blocked. Like all the body’s organs, the brain needs oxygen and nutrients to function properly and these are provided by the blood supply. When a clot forms, it can create a blockage in a blood vessel supplying the brain. This cuts off the blood flow to an area of the brain, damaging the brain cells by starving them of oxygen. This can lead to brain damage occurring and, depending how long the blood supply is cut off, this may be temporary or permanent.1

Having AF greatly increases your risk of a stroke so following your doctor’s advice and taking the medications your doctor prescribes to help stop a stroke is crucial. Sadly, having a stroke can have serious implications not only for you but for the people who care about you.

 Blood clot


1. Accessed 17 May 2011.