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When a stroke interrupts blood flow to the brain, our rapid-response, coordinated teams go to work to minimize and overcome damage to the brain and nerves. At Houston Methodist, we have certified stroke centers at multiple locations, including the nation’s first Comprehensive Stroke Center. 

If you or a loved one has had a stroke, you need state-of-the-art ongoing care to ensure the fullest recovery. At a Houston Methodist stroke center, our exceptional teams of doctors and highly dedicated nurses work with you through recovery and rehabilitation. 

Our world-renowned team of specialists, including neurologists, neurosurgeons, interventional neuroradiologists, cardiologists and rehabilitation therapists, work together to ensure the best outcomes for every patient.  

Stroke Signs & Treatment

How are strokes diagnosed?

Strokes can occur suddenly and unexpectedly, and a simple way to detect their signs and symptoms is to use the BE FAST test


  • B is for BALANCE – Is the patient dizzy? Ask if they feel they’re about to lose their footing. 
  • E is for EYES – Is the patient’s vision distorted? Ask if they can see clearly. 
  • F is for FACE – Does one side of the patient’s face droop or seem uneven? Can the patient give an even smile? 
  • A is for ARMS – Does one arm drift down? Can the patient raise both arms? 
  • S is for SPEECH – Is the patient having trouble speaking? Ask them to repeat a simple phrase, such as BE FAST. 
  • T is for TIME – If you observe any of these symptoms, time is of the essence. Call 911 immediately. 


A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is disrupted. This can happen in two ways:


  • Ischemic strokes happen when a blood clot blocks a blood vessel. 
  • Hemorrhagic strokes happen when a blood vessel bursts and bleeds into brain tissue.

What treatments are available?

Your treatment will always be personalized — based on our precise diagnosis, your history and treatment goals. Our neuro-critical care includes: 


  • Clot-busting tPA (tissue plasminogen activators) for strokes caused by blood clots (ischemic strokes) – Houston Methodist is a national leader in the use of tPA 
  • Advanced neurovascular and endovascular procedures to repair aneurysms and other strokes caused by sudden bleeding (hemorrhagic strokes) 


Beyond your initial treatment and diagnosis, our interdisciplinary team can diagnose and treat the underlying causes of the stroke. Houston Methodist actively participates in clinical research trials to improve and advance stroke treatment. Our own researchers developed a device that stimulates cells around damaged areas of the brain, an innovation designed to help restore a patient’s motor skills. 

What if I need advanced care or a second opinion?

If you’re exhibiting signs or symptoms of stroke, you need emergency treatment, which we offer at numerous locations, including the Eddy Scurlock Stroke Center at our flagship campus. We also specialize in post-stroke recovery and rehabilitation treatment.

How can I prevent a stroke?

Although there can be a genetic component, most cases of stroke can be prevented by making lifestyle changes and managing existing medical conditions:


  • Stop smoking 
  • Move: Stay physically active 
  • Maintain a healthy weight  
  • Follow a balanced diet 
  • Control blood pressure and blood sugar 
  • Lower your cholesterol level 


As part of your treatment and rehabilitation, we will work with you to make the changes needed to prevent another stroke. 

Stroke recognition and prevention is the focus of our award-winning stroke outreach program for the community. 

Learn More About Stroke

Doctor at desk facing camera and talking to patient
Emmi, our collection of multimedia educational tools, can help you understand the symptoms of stroke, as well as treatments and recovery tools. 

Find Clinical Trials

doctor using large microscope
Houston Methodist is leading the way in research to find innovative treatment options.

Tokashemia Carter’s Story

Tokashemia Carter is “back to living” her life after suffering a stroke caused by a hole in her heart. Our specialists were able to treat her symptoms and resolve her condition using a patent foramen ovale, or PFO, implant. 

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