One of the most useful tools to determine if someone could possibly be having a stroke is the acronym “FAST,” which stands for:
Strokes and seizures affect brain activity in distinct ways. In the case of a stroke, there may be an interruption of the oxygen-rich blood circulation to the brain. Brain cell death begins almost immediately and cannot be recovered. Strokes can cause permanent impairments and disability, particularly without immediate medical intervention.
By contrast, a seizure occurs due to excessive electrical activity in the brain, and the effects of a seizure are temporary. It is possible to suffer a stroke and a seizure if the brain forms scar tissue while sending out abnormal electrical signals, but the opposite is not true: Seizures do not cause strokes.
You may be confused by the differences if you are unfamiliar with strokes or seizures, because they have some overlapping symptoms. Some of the signs that strokes and seizures share include:
Are you unsure if you or someone else is having a stroke or a seizure? Call 9-1-1 immediately to describe what has happened.