Ischaemic stroke, transient ischaemic attack (T.I.A.), haemorrhagic stroke, subarachnoid haemorrhage (S.A.H.)

What is stroke?

A stroke is a life-threatening condition in which the blood and oxygen supply to part of the brain is cut off. There are two main types of stroke:

  • Ischaemic stroke. This is the most common type of stroke which occurs when a blood clot prevents the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain.
  • Haemorrhagic stroke. This occurs when a blood vessel in the skull bursts causing bleeding inside and around the brain, known as a brain haemorrhage.

What causes stroke?

A stroke is caused by the blood and oxygen supply to part of the brain being cut off. Anyone can have a stroke, but certain factors do increase the likelihood of one occurring:

  • Age: as a person gets older their arteries become narrower and harder and are also more likely to get blocked up with fatty material.
  • Medical conditions, including high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
  • Lifestyle: smoking, high alcohol intake, being overweight and an unhealthy diet can be damaging to blood vessels.

What are the symptoms of stroke?

The word FAST can be used to help you to remember the main symptoms of a stroke, and know what to do.

  • F- Face. The whole face or just the mouth and/or an eye may droop on one side and the person may be unable to smile.
  • A – Arms – Weakness or numbness in one arm resulting in the person being unable to hold their arm up and keep it there.
  • S – Speech. Their speech may be slurred or they may not be able to talk at all, or they may have difficulty understanding others.
  • T – Time. If someone is showing any symptoms of a stroke 999 should be called immediately.

Are you affected by stroke?

If you’re affected by stroke, The Brain Charity can support you.

We are the only charity in the UK to be here for every one of the more than 600 different neurological conditions in existence. Individually, many are rare, but combined, they affect 1 in 6 people.

We provide practical help on all aspects of living with stroke, emotional support such as counselling, phone befriending and group therapy and social activities to people with stroke from all over the UK from our centre in Liverpool.

Looking to talk to someone?

Woman smiling, making eye contact and holding the hand of another woman to comfort her

Phone us

Contact The Brain Charity now

Our friendly Information & Advice Officers are here to help. We endeavour to respond to all enquiries within 10 working days.

0151 298 2999

Looking to talk to someone?

  • Please tell us which neurological condition you are affected by and what you need support with.

Caring for someone who has experienced a stroke

We support carers, friends and family too

Are you a carer for or relative of someone who has experienced a stroke? It’s just as important for you to look after your own physical and mental wellbeing too.

The Brain Charity provides free support for carers, friends and family of people with any form of neurological condition, including stroke, from anywhere in the UK.

We also run an additional carers advocacy service for all carers in Liverpool, regardless of which type of condition the person they care for has.

You don’t need to be a formal or registered carer

We can help you even if you don’t view yourself as a formal carer or claim Carer’s Allowance. Find out some of the ways we support carers below.

Other resources

The Brain Charity's library

The Brain Charity’s library has a range of resources on strokes and on many other disability-related issues

Visit our library to read:

  • Stroke by Brain and Spine Foundation.
  • Stroke by NHS Choices.
  • Stroke Information Pack: Work after stroke by Different Strokes.

Or search the catalogue online here.

Support groups

Stroke Friends: Aphasia Support Group at The Brain Charity

The Stroke Friends are a welcoming Aphasia Support Group for people who have experienced aphasia after a stroke. They meet weekly on Mondays between 2pm and 4pm at The Brain Food Café.

Find a list of The Brain Charity’s other support groups here.

Different Strokes

Different Strokes helps younger stroke survivors and their families to reclaim their lives through peer support. They run a network of support groups across the UK and online.


Phone: 0345 1307172


Think Ahead Stroke

Think Ahead Stroke offers a range of support groups and activities for those who have had a stroke. 


Phone: 01942 824888


Other charities

Stroke Association

The Stroke Association aims to help people to rebuild their lives after having a stroke through campaigning and funding research.


Helpline: 0303 3033100


Success After Stroke

Success After Stroke provides a range of therapies and activities to support those who have had a stroke. 


Phone: 07434931962


A Stroke of Luck

A Stroke of Luck helps stroke survivors access professional fitness support and exercise sessions to aid their recovery and rehabilitation.


Phone: 0300 111 1519