Stroke Overview A stroke is a medical emergency, demanding immediate care. A small stroke may leave an arm or leg weakened. A larger stroke may cause paralysis, loss of speech, or even death. Signs and Symptoms of Stroke Fast action can help minimize the damage done by a stroke. Call 911 or your local emergency number if you notice the sudden appearance of any of these symptoms. Stroke Treatment and Recovery Clot-busting medications are used for ischemic strokes. Other medications can reduce or control brain swelling. Stroke Prevention These lifestyle factors can help reduce your stroke risk: Keep your blood pressure under control; limit the amount of alcohol you drink; and if you have diabetes, watch your blood sugar levels. Other Cerebrovascular Diseases A stroke isn’t the only type of cerebrovascular disease. Carotid artery disease and cerebral aneurysms also fall into this category.