At MU Health Care, our stroke team provides the most advanced and personalized care when minutes matter. 

Stroke patients here receive the fastest, most efficient care from our team of experts. MU Health Care is the first and only institution in mid-Missouri to earn the Comprehensive Stroke Center certification from DNV GL Healthcare and is a certified Level I Comprehensive Stroke Center, reflecting the highest level of expertise for treating our stroke patients. 

With the region's only dedicated stroke neurologist and fellowship-trained neuro-interventionalists on site around the clock, MU Health Care's stroke team provides better treatment and safer procedures to our patients from immediate stroke care to rehabilitation.

Know the Facts

A stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain is blocked or bursts. Without blood and the oxygen it carries, part of the brain starts to die. The part of the body controlled by the damaged area of the brain can't work properly.

Strokes often occur due to cerebrovascular diseases, which involve problems with blood flow in the brain. Conditions that lead to stroke include:

  • Arteriovenous malformation (AVM): When blood vessels are tangled inside the brain, blood flow and oxygen can be cut off. If a blood vessel ruptures, bleeding in the brain will occur which can lead to strokes, seizures or brain damage. This rare disease often requires surgery to monitor and treat.
  • Cavernous malformations: Blood vessels that form abnormally might leak blood and can cause stroke.
  • Cerebral aneurysm: When a blood vessel is blocked, it balloons out and fills with blood. When it becomes too full, it bursts, leading to a hemorrhagic stroke.
  • Dural arteriovenous fistula: This condition occurs when an artery and a vein do not have a correct connection. The lack of connection can lead to narrow or blocked arteries, sometimes resulting in stroke.
  • Intracerebral hemorrhage: This condition causes bleeding within the brain tissue, a type of hemorrhagic stroke.
  • Moyamoya disease: Blocked arteries at the base of the brain can lead to an aneurysm, bleeding in the brain and ultimately stroke. It is a rare, progressive disease.   

Brain damage can begin within minutes. That's why it's so important to know the symptoms of stroke and to act fast. Quick treatment can help limit damage to the brain and increase the chance of a full recovery.

Stroke facts from MU Health Care

Know Your Risks

Although a stroke can happen to anyone, a number of factors can increase your chance of suffering from a stroke:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease or artery disease
  • Certain blood disorders
  • Smoking
  • High cholesterol
  • Physical inactivity or obesity
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Drug use and abuse

The good news is that you can make some lifestyle changes that can reduce your risk of stroke and improve your overall health:

  • Treat health problems that could increase your risk of stroke.
  • If your doctor recommends taking aspirin or a blood thinner, take it.
  • Take your medicine exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor if you think you are having a problem with your medicine.
  • Adopt a healthy lifestyle
    • Don't smoke or allow others to smoke around you.
    • Limit alcohol to 2 drinks a day for men and 1 drink a day for women.
    • Stay at a healthy weight. Being overweight makes it more likely you will develop high blood pressure, heart problems, and diabetes. These conditions make a stroke more likely.
    • Be active. Ask your doctor what type and level of activity is safe for you. If you are in a stroke rehab program, your rehab team can make an exercise program that is right for you.
    • Eat heart-healthy foods. These include fruits, vegetables, high-fiber foods, fish, and foods that are low in sodium, saturated fat, and trans fat.

Know the Signs

When a stroke happens, every minute counts. A stroke stops precious oxygen from reaching your brain, causing brain cells to die immediately so the sooner you get care, the better chance of recovery. It’s important to know the signs of a stroke by remembering the acronym FAST: Face (drooping); Arm (weakness); Speech (slurred); and Time (call 9-1-1). Calling 9-1-1 immediately instead of driving someone to the hospital guarantees our team is notified and ready to give you the fastest care possible.

Stroke signs BE FAST MU Health Care

See How We Do It

As soon as someone calls 9-1-1 to report a stroke, our team is already running through scenarios to get that patient the fastest, most effective care possible. We don’t let a second go to waste because with every minute that passes, another two million brain cells die and someone’s chance of survival goes down. Holding ourselves to the highest standards of stroke care guarantees our patients receive the fastest care and best treatment possible, and we’re proud to be the region’s only Certified Comprehensive Stroke Center.

Leading stroke treatment

A stroke occurs when a blood vessel leading to the brain bursts (hemorrhagic stroke) or is blocked by a blood clot (ischemic stroke). Your treatment will depend on your condition and the type of stroke you have, but the goal is to restore blood flow to your brain as quickly as possible.

As an academic health center, our neurosciences doctors are also researchers and educators who train the next generation of doctors. That means our specialists are at the forefront of medical breakthroughs. You benefit from all the resources and expertise throughout the MU Health Care system, including promising new treatments available through clinical trials.

Our stroke care experts continue to look for new ways to prevent and treat stroke. When new therapies are discovered, you can find them right here.

Learn how we diagnose and treat stroke.