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Terry Gilliam health: Monty Python star’s health scare wasn’t a stroke – what was it?

Terry Gilliam health: Monty Python star’s health scare wasn’t a stroke - what was it? 1

Terry Gilliam, 79, dismissed reports of having had a stroke in an interview with the Guardian. A stroke is a life-threatening medical condition that occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off. The star actually suffered a perforated medullary artery instead.

Symptoms of a stroke

The main symptoms of a stroke can be remembered with the word FAST:

Face – the face may have dropped on one side, the person may not be able to smile, to their mouth or eye may have dropped.

Arms – the person with suspected stroke may not be able to life both arms and keep them there because of weakness numbness in one arm.

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Speech – their speech may be slurred or garbled, or the person may not be able to talk at all despite appearing to be awake; they may also have problems understanding what you’re saying to them.

Time – it’s time to dial 999 immediately if you see any of these signs or symptoms.

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Causes of stroke

The NHS explains that like all organs, the brain needs the oxygen and nutrients provided by blood to function properly.

If the supply of blood is restricted or stopped, brain cells begin to die, and this can lead to brain injury, disability and possibly death.

The NHS explains: “There are two man causes of stroke, ischaemic – where the blood supply is stopped because of a blood clot, accounting for 85 percent of all cases – and haemorrhagic – where a weakened blood vessel supplying the brain bursts.

“There’s also a related condition called a transient ischaemic attack (TIA), where the blood supply to the brain is temporarily interrupted.

“This causes what’s known as a mini-stroke. It can last a few minutes or persist up to 24 hours.

“TIAs should be treated urgently, as they’re often a warning sign you’re at risk of having a full stroke in the near future.

“Seek medical advice as soon as possible, even if your symptoms get better.”

Certain conditions can increase a person’s risk of having a stroke, including, high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol.

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