Complete loss of the ability to move your muscles. After a stroke, paralysis usually happens on one side of the body. If one whole side of your body is paralysed, this is called hemiplegia.
Patent foramen ovale (PFO)
A hole between the right and left side of the heart. It usually causes no problems but it is possible for a blood clot to travel from the right to the left side of the heart, enter the circulation system and cause a stroke.
Your awareness and understanding of the world around you. Stroke can affect perception in different ways, such as causing a lack of awareness for example of one side of the body, or difficulty recognising familiar objects or faces.
Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG)
If you have swallowing problems after a stroke you may need to be fed by a tube. A PEG is a tube that is inserted directly through the wall of your abdomen into your stomach. It is usually given if you are likely to need tube feeding for more than six weeks.
A healthcare professional who gives you the medication you are prescribed by your doctor. They may also offer testing and screening for common conditions such as blood pressure, and can advise you about minor ailments such as colds.
Someone trained to take blood samples from patients. These blood tests are vital in diagnosing conditions such as high cholesterol and diabetes, which are risk factors for stroke.
A trained healthcare professional who specialises in treating physical problems such as weakness and paralysis. They use a variety of techniques such as exercises, and can advise you about equipment that can help.
Chemicals produced by plants that are thought to protect us from disease such as heart disease and diabetes. Fruit and vegetables which are brightly coloured contain the most phytochemicals. Some of the well-known phytochemicals are lycopene in tomatoes, isoflavones in soy, peanuts and lentils, and flavonoids found in red grape skins and citrus fruits.
Small cell-like particles found in the blood. They help the blood clotting process by clumping together to form a plug. They also release substances that promote clotting.
Fat, cholesterol, and other substances which have built up in the walls of our arteries and formed hard structures. These plaques can make your arteries narrower and increase the risk of a stroke happening.
Positron emission tomography (PET) scan
A scan which produces a detailed three-dimensional picture of the inside of the body. PET scans are used to diagnose conditions that affect the working of the brain such as dementia. Before having the scan, a radioactive substance is passed into your body (by injection, inhaler or tablet). This gives off particles, which release a type of radiation called gamma rays, which are detected by the scanner.
A mineral naturally occurring in fruit especially bananas, vegetables, nuts and seeds, milk, shellfish, beef, chicken and turkey. It controls the balance of fluids in the body and may help to lower blood pressure.
Primary Antiphospholipid Syndrome
See Hughes Syndrome.
A prediction of the possible outcome of a disease or condition, for example whether someone will survive, or how much recovery they are likely to make.
A medically qualified doctor who specialises in the study and treatment of mental health problems. They can prescribe medication.
A person qualified in the scientific study of the mind. A clinical psychologist is trained in assessing and treating people with mental health problems such as depression. They can also help people experiencing cognitive problems after stroke.