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What is a Stroke?

Stroke is the second leading cause of death and a major cause of disability worldwide. Stroke reduces mobility in more than half of stroke survivors age 65 and over and very frequently leads to a number of other disabilities in patients. Stroke-related costs in the United States came to nearly $46 billion between 2014 and 2015.


There are several forms of stroke that all involve different mechanisms of tissue damage and subsequent cellular stress on surrounding tissues, which may compound into further injury over time. 

3 Types of Strokes

Ischemic stroke is the most common form, which involves blocked blood flow which prevents oxygen and nutrients from reaching bodily tissues, resulting in tissue death. This can occur anywhere in the body but is most dangerous in the brain where an ischemic stroke can lead to widespread brain tissue damage. 


Hemorrrhagic stroke happens when an artery leaks blood or ruptures. When this happens in the brain it can lead to swelling and many other forms of tissue damage. 


Transcient ischemic attacks (TIAs) are often referred to as "mini-strokes" but they also have serious health implications and may damage sensitive tissue such as in the brain, or lead to a more serious form of stroke. 


Anavex Life Sciences is developing novel therapies to help patients recover from tissue damage caused by stroke. 

Signs & Symptoms

Strokes are serious medical emergencies, if a person experiences any of the following symptoms, it is imperative that they seek medical assistance immediately. These symptoms include: 

  • Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg (especially on one side of the body).

  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking, or difficulty understanding speech.

  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.

  • Sudden trouble walking, loss of balance, or lack of coordination. 

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Trouble Walking

Visual Difficulties

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Difficulty Understanding

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Trouble Speaking

Strokes are neurodegenerative.


According to the World Health Organization, 15 million people suffer stroke worldwide each year. In the United States every year, more than 795,000 people have a stroke. About 610,000 of these are first or new strokes. About 185,000 strokes—nearly 1 of 4—are in people who have had a previous stroke. About 87% of all strokes are ischemic strokes, in which blood flow to the brain is blocked which often leads to further injury or disability. 

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