Stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot (ischemic stroke) or ruptures (hemorrhagic stroke). The deficits of a stroke depend on the location of the injury and the amount of damage leading to cell dysfunction and/or death.
The incidence of stroke in the U.S. is approximately 800,000 strokes per year resulting in a prevalence of an estimated 7 million patients affected by chronic long-term disabilities. Globally, an estimated 15 million people suffer a stroke every year.
Major health impacts persist after a stroke. The American Heart Association projects the total cost of stroke, which encompasses both direct and indirect spending, to increase from $105.2 billion in 2012 to $240.7 billion by 2030.1 The World Health Organization lists stroke as the #2 cause of death worldwide.