A survey by a health charity has found nearly a third of people in Scotland are more likely to act over a lost bank card than a suspected stroke.
An estimated 15,000 people suffer a stroke every year
The Stroke Association found that 32% of people would act immediately if they lost a bank card but wait 24 hours to get help for a suspected stroke.
Almost half of 2000 people questioned believed drugs were more likely to cause brain damage than a stroke.
The charity said the study revealed the level of confusion about the condition.
Maddy Halliday, director of the Stroke Association in Scotland, said: "These results highlight how stroke continues to be misunderstood by the public and is way down on their agenda.
"People simply do not realise the devastation that a stroke can cause or that it can be prevented."
Each year about 15,000 people in Scotland suffer a stroke, with an estimated 85,000 individuals living with the condition and its consequences.
Figures show it is the most common cause of severe physical disability among adults and the third most common cause of death, killing three times as many women in Scotland as breast cancer.
According to the survey, women were found to be more aware of the risk of stroke, with 69% saying they would call 999 immediately if they experienced symptoms like facial and arm weakness and speech problems, compared with just 59% of men.
The figure is in contrast to the 87% of women and 89% of men who would get in touch with their bank straight away if they lost their bank card.
The charity believes that this is because the general public are still not aware of the devastating impact of stroke.
A stroke is an attack on the brain which strikes without warning and can leave sufferers paralysed, blind or unable to speak.