A stroke is a serious medical condition in which part of the brain is deprived of oxygen. Without oxygen, cells in the brain suffer damage which can be irreversible and even lead to death.
There are two main types of stroke, the most common of which is an ischaemic stroke. This means a blood clot obstructs a blood vessel, depriving the brain of oxygen; around 80% of all strokes are ischaemic attacks. The other major type is haemorrhagic, in which a blood vessel bursts.
Stroke is a major health problem in the UK, with around 150,000 people suffering a stroke every year.
Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham is a West Midlands regional centre for treating patients who have suffered a stroke, and established the first 24-hour stroke thrombolysis service in Birmingham.
The hospital also has very advanced radiology capability for detecting the causes of strokes, and a newly developed thrombectomy service for treating acute stroke.
Important research is being done on this condition by Professor Cath Sackley, Professor Glyn Humphreys and Dr Don Sims.