What is a stroke?

A stroke is a serious, life-threatening medical condition. It occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off for long enough to cause brain tissue to die.

There are two types of stroke:
• ischaemic – caused when a clot blocks the blood supply to the brain. This is the most common.
• haemorrhagic – caused by bleeding in the brain.

Strokes are the third most common cause of death in the UK and the single most common cause of severe disability.

Who is affected?

Around 150,000 people have a stroke in the UK every year, equivalent to one every five minutes.

60,000 people die from stroke in the UK every year. Over half of those who survive are left with some level of disability.

Most people who have strokes are over 65, although around 1,000 people under 30 have a stroke each year including children.

How we help

We have funded research into the prevention and treatment of strokes. This includes the funding of PhD students to carry out the research including:

  • Research into subarachnoid haemorrhage, a subtype of stroke by PhD student, Rasheed Afinowi. Read more.