What Are the Signs of a Massive Stroke?

A diagram of an ischemic stroke and a hemorrhagic stroke.
The human brain, including blood vessels that can be involved in a stroke.
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  • Written By: Kaiser Castro
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 09 July 2014
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Before a massive stroke occurs, the body will experience a slew of warning signs. A transient ischemic attack is an episode of symptoms that occur shortly before a stroke strikes. Most of these symptoms manifest as extreme tingling of limbs, loss of motor skills, potential body convulsions, sporadic speech, random headaches, and involuntary facial contortions.

A telltale sign of a massive stroke is when the extremities begin to have a tingling sensation, sometimes described as a feeling of being pricked with needles. If the numbness affects the majority of one side of the body, then this is even more cause for alarm. The excessive numbness is caused by poor circulation to the body’s extremities, which usually comes accompanied with a massive stroke. A vascular blockage can occur due to thrombosis, an arterial embolism, or the formation of a hemorrhage.

The tingling sensation may also be accompanied with an extreme loss of motor skills. A brain that is deprived of oxygen during a massive stroke will send random electrical signals to muscles, which will show itself as jerky movements of the legs or arms. Sometimes the whole body will convulse, similar to a seizure.


Sporadic speech and odd speech impediments are also a sign of a massive stroke. If a person is suspect for a stroke, ask them to repeat a phrase. If they are having a hard time repeating the phrase, or if the phrase is being repeated incoherently, then the person is possibly suffering from a stroke. Strokes occur when the brain suffers from a lack of oxygen, which can manifest itself as sporadic communication skills. Stroke victims will have a hard time stringing sentences or phrases together, evident by the person’s involuntary stuttering and skipping of spoken words.

A random, intense headache or migraine is also connected with the occurrence of a massive stroke. A hemorrhage or a blockade in a blood vessel in the brain can cause severe, debilitating pain in the cranial region. If the pain is localized in one area of the head, then it is more likely that a stroke is occurring.

The facial area may also become distorted during a stroke. If someone is suffering a possible stroke, ask the victim to smile. A person that is having a hard time controlling the muscles in the face to properly form a smile is possibly experiencing a massive stroke.


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