Stroke overview

A stroke occurs when the blood flow to part of the brain is cut off.  

Types of stroke

There are two types of stroke:

  • ischaemic stroke:  blockage cutting off the blood supply to the brain; the cause of most strokes.
  • haemorrhagic stroke: caused by a bleeding in or around the brain.  

A transient ischaemic attack or TIA, sometimes referred to as a mini-stroke, is defined as stroke symptoms and signs that resolve within 24 hours.

Effects of stroke

A stroke can affect many different body functions, depending on the part of the brain that is involved, including:

Key points

The SLT has a key role in:

  • initial assessment of swallowing and communication difficulties following acute stroke 
  • training of other healthcare professionals to carry out screening
  • long-term rehabilitation of stroke patients as part of the core multidisciplinary stroke rehabilitation team
  • coaching others, including carers and other professionals, to facilitate communication
  • supporting the medical team to assess capacity, in cases in which it is difficult to obtain consent from a person.

For further information read our stroke factsheet

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