May is National Stroke Awareness Month

Learn 3 things to ask if you think someone might be having a stroke

Infographic for the FAST acronym for recognizing a stroke.

Check for stroke using the FAST system. Ask the person to

  1. Smile [check to see if it is straight or crooked]
  2. Raise your hands [check to see if the hands are raised to an even level]
  3. Speak: “It’s a sunny day outside.” [check to see if it is clear or slurred]

Will these 3 tests accurately diagnose ALL strokes?

A: Nothing is perfect, not even sophisticated medical tests. These are the five symptoms The American Stroke Association says are the warning signs of a stroke:

Graphic poster (small) to be a stroke super hero
  1. Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side
  2. Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  3. Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  4. Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  5. Sudden, severe headache with no known cause

If a person exhibits any of the above symptoms OR can't pass the 3 tests then get emergency medical treatment immediately.

More Resources

See the following links in addition to our lists of resources on this website.

Poster for Five things to know about stroke

Regaining Sight After a Stroke

From Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB)

By doing a set of vigorous visual exercises on a computer every day for several months, patients who had gone partially blind as a result of a stroke regained some vision. Some could drive again. "This is a type of brain damage that clinicians and scientists have long believed you simply can't recover from. It's devastating, and patients are usually sent home to somehow deal with it the best they can," said the RPB researcher.

"Rigorous Visual Training Teaches the Brain to See Again After Stroke". This article includes video of the process and the test.

"Perceptual relearning of complex visual motion after V1 damage in humans" by Huxlin KR, Martin T, Kelly K, Riley M, Friedman DI, Burgin WS, Hayhoe M., Abstract, Journal of Neuroscience. 2009 Apr 1;29(13):3981-91. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4882-08.2009.

The full-text archive of this article from the U.S. National Institutes of Health's National Library of Medicine (NIH/NLM).