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A stroke occurs if the flow of oxygen rich blood to a portion of the brain is blocked.  Without oxygen, brain cells start to die after a few minutes.  Sudden bleeding in the brain also can cause a stroke if it damages brain cells.  If brain cells die or are damaged because of a stroke, symptoms occur in the parts of the body that these brain cells control.  Examples of stroke symptoms include sudden weakness; paralysis or numbness of the face, arms or legs (paralysis is an inability to move); trouble speaking or understanding speech and trouble seeing.  A stroke is s serious medical condition that requires emergency care.  A stroke can cause lasting brain damage, long-term disability, or even death.