A popular food flavouring and preservative. Eating too much salt can raise your blood pressure and increase your risk of stroke. The daily recommended intake of salt should be less than 6g. Sometimes sodium rather than salt is listed on food labels. You can work out the amount of salt by multiplying the figure listed for sodium by 2.5.
Episodes of disturbed brain activity that cause changes in attention or behavior. They are sometimes called fits. A seizure which happens on the day of a stroke is called an onset seizure. Some people go on to have repeated seizures, and so will have developed the condition epilepsy.
Sickle cell anaemia
An inherited blood disorder in which red blood cells develop abnormally. It is more common among African-Caribbean people. Instead of being round and flexible they become shaped like a crescent (sickle). These abnormal blood cells can then block blood vessels causing episodes of pain called a sickle crisis. Sickle cell anaemia is a risk factor for stroke.
A condition that causes interrupted breathing while sleeping. The muscles and soft tissues in the throat relax and collapse, causing a blockage of the airway. Most people with the condition snore loudly. Sleep apnoea can increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke.
Social worker (care manager)
Social workers usually work for the local council’s social services department. They help people to manage at home, carrying out assessments and arranging for support in the community. This help could include carers to provide practical help or aids and equipment at home.
Sometimes after stroke your muscles on the weakened side of your body can become stiff and painful. This is called spasticity.
The ability to judge depth, size, distance and position in space. Stroke can cause a range of cognitive problems, including problems with spatial skills.
Speech and language therapist (SALT)
A therapist who specialises in helping people with communication problems after stroke including dysarthria (weakness of the muscles in the mouth) and aphasia (difficulty speaking or understanding what is said). They can help you to improve your communication skills and find alternative ways of communicating. They can also assess people and offer advice on swallowing problems.
A type of medication used to lower cholesterol, which can reduce the risk of stroke. The following statins are currently used in the UK: atorvastatin, fluvastatin, pravastatin, rosuvastatin and simvastatin.
Stenosis (of an artery)
Stenosis means narrowing. If an artery has become narrowed, it increases the risk of stroke as there is a greater chance of it becoming blocked.
See: Hughes Syndrome.
Partial loss of bladder control when there is a sudden extra pressure ('stress') on the bladder, for example when coughing, laughing or running.
A type of stroke which happens when a blood vessel near the surface of the brain bursts and leaks into the subarachnoid space (the space between two layers of membranes surrounding the brain). This accounts for five per cent of all strokes.
One of two measurements that make up a blood pressure reading. Systolic pressure is the force with which blood is pumped around our bodies when the heart beats. It is the first figure given in a blood pressure reading (e.g. 140/90mmHg) and it is usually higher than the second number which is called diastolic pressure, a measure of the force of blood flow between heart beats.