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C. What to do When a Stroke Occurs

Narrator: This is Science Today. Acting fast can make all the difference when a stroke occurs. UCLA neurosurgeon John Frazee says the longer a patient waits, the more extensive the brain damage will be. Even if stroke symptoms subside, Frazee says it's important to get to the hospital.

Frazee: Because there may be something to prevent this from happening again - and happening in a permanent way. Many symptoms disappear in the first hour and that should be, nevertheless, a warning to the patient to go see somebody immediately as an emergency.

Narrator: A stroke is a 'brain attack' and is caused by a blood clot that cuts off oxygen to the brain and kills the tissue.

Frazee: If a patient comes in with a stroke and the -symptoms - paralysis, or speech problems, or vision problems have lasted more than an hour, the chances that they're going to recover in the next twenty-four hours is less than 14 percent.

Narrator: If treated on time - Frazee says new advances in stroke treatment can minimize brain damage, disability and death. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.