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The brain needs a constant supply of blood to work. During a stroke, blood stops flowing to part of the brain. The affected area is damaged. Its functions are harmed or even lost. Most strokes are caused by a blockage in a blood vessel that supplies the brain. They can also occur if a blood vessel in the brain ruptures (breaks open).
The heart is a pump. It sends oxygen-rich blood out through blood vessels called arteries. Carotid arteries carry blood from the heart to the brain. Blood vessels in the brain carry oxygen-rich blood to brain tissue.
Hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures. This lets blood spill into nearby brain tissue, which damages the cells. Other brain cells die because their normal blood supply is cut off.