Joe Korner, Director of Communications at The Stroke Association:

"This research further strengthens the need for everyone who experiences a TIA (Transient Ischaemic Attack) to be treated urgently. Previous studies have proved that quick treatment following a TIA can reduce the risk of a major stroke by up to 80%. Furthermore this vital and urgent treatment of TIAs does not require brand new technology; it is simply about organising services to enable TIAs to be treated with currently available treatments quickly.

"A TIA is a warning sign that a major stroke may be on the horizon, but all to often people either ignore the symptoms or aren't aware of what the symptoms of stroke are. The Stroke Association urges anybody who is experiencing Facial weakness, Arm weakness or Speech problems to act FAST and dial 999.

"It is hoped, following the launch of the National Stroke Strategy towards the end of this year that more will be done to increase public awareness of stroke and its symptoms and that patients with TIAs will be assessed and treated within 24 hours, which is vital."

Notes:

1. The Stroke Association is the only UK charity solely concerned with combating stroke in people of all ages. The charity funds research into prevention, treatment, better methods of rehabilitation and helps stroke patients and their families directly through its community services which include communications support, family and carer support, information services, welfare grants, publications and leaflets. The Stroke Association also campaigns, educates and informs to increase knowledge of stroke at all levels of society acting as a voice for everyone affected by stroke.

2. A stroke is a brain attack which causes brain damage. A stroke can be diagnosed by using FAST - Facial weakness, Arm weakness, Speech problems, Test all three. If any of these symptoms are present call an ambulance straight away.

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