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Cerebral Vascular Accident


Updated May 16, 2014

Senior Hispanic woman with head in hand
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Definition: A cerebral vascular accident is another name for a stroke. It is damage to the brain caused by a disruption of the blood supply to a part of the brain. This disruption of blood supply can be caused by a blood clot, or by a ruptured artery.

The symptoms of a cerebral vascular accident depend on which part of the brain is affected. Common symptoms may include paralysis of a part of the body, loss of all or part of the vision, or loss of the ability to speak or to understand speech.

Pronunciation: ser'e-bral vas'ku-lar ak'si-dent
Also Known As: CVA, stroke, apoplexy
Alternate Spellings: cerebrovascular accident
Common Misspellings: cirebral vasscular accident
My father had a cerebral vascular accident that caused the left side of his body to be paralyzed.
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