Stroke strikes fast. You should too. Call 9-1-1.

Research Spotlight

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The NINDS conducts stroke research and clinical trials at its laboratories and clinics at the NIH, and through grants to major medical institutions across the country.

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The NINDS developed the Know Stroke campaign to help educate the public about the symptoms of stroke and the importance of getting to the hospital quickly. The campaign includes outreach to consumers and health care professionals using mass media, grassroots outreach, partnerships, and community education. The campaign also targets Spanish-speaking communities through a variety of Spanish language materials available throughout this site.

One of the key messages of the campaign is knowing the symptoms of stroke:

  • Sudden NUMBNESS or weakness of face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden CONFUSION, trouble speaking or understanding speech
  • Sudden TROUBLE SEEING in one or both eyes
  • Sudden TROUBLE WALKING, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden SEVERE HEADACHE with no known cause

Since its launch in 2001, the Know Stroke campaign has focused on:

  • Increasing the public's awareness of signs and symptoms of stroke;
  • Encouraging the public to call 911 in case of stroke; and
  • Influencing the health care community to implement and improve protocols to treat stroke.

A key partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention branch produced Know Stroke in the Community (KSIC) in 2004. KSIC recruits "Stroke Champions" in each community who are trained to use NINDS stroke education materials and then charged with bringing campaign messages to their communities. Campaign materials include a stroke education kit with a video, brochures, radio PSAs, and posters.

The campaign's target audiences are those at high risk for stroke - primarily African Americans, Hispanics, and people over the age of 50 - and their family members, caregivers and health care providers. Because stroke attacks the brain, the person experiencing the symptoms often cannot act alone to call 911 and seek medical treatment. Bystanders are integral to acting quickly and getting people who have suffered a stroke to the hospital quickly enough to get time-sensitive treatments.