Brain Strokes

What Is a Stroke?

Stroke is a medical emergency and a leading cause of death. It occurs when a blood vessel in the brain bursts or, more commonly, when a blockage develops. Without treatment, cells in the brain quickly begin to die. The result can be serious disability or death. If someone is having stroke symptoms, seek emergency medical attention without delay.

A common cause of stroke is atherosclerosis, hardening of the arteries. Plaque made of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances builds up in the arteries, leaving less space for blood to flow. A blood clot may lodge in this narrow space and cause an ischemic stroke. Atherosclerosis also makes it easier for a clot to form. Uncontrolled high blood pressure that causes a weakened artery to burst also an other reason for strokes.

Stroke Symptoms
  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the body, especially on one side.
  • Sudden vision changes in one or both eyes, or difficulty swallowing.
  • Sudden, severe headache with unknown cause.
  • Sudden problems with dizziness, walking, or balance.
  • Sudden confusion, difficulty speaking or understanding others.

The STRS test helps spot symptoms of stroke.

Smile: - Ask for a smile. Does one side droop or unable to smile?
Talk : -  Ask  to speak a simple sentence Does he or she have trouble or slur words?
Raise Arm. When raised, Does one side drift down or unable to raise?
stick out his/her tongue. When doing, If the tongue is crooked or does it goes to one side or the other?

If even one of above fails to do take the person immediately to a hospital.

Time = Brain Damage

Every second counts when seeking treatment for a stroke. When deprived of oxygen, brain cells begin dying within minutes. There are clot-busting drugs that can curb brain damage, but they need to be used within three hours up to 4.5 hours in some people of the initial stroke symptoms. Once brain tissue has died, the body parts controlled by that area won't work properly. This is why stroke is a top cause of long term disability.

Diagnosing a Stroke

When someone with stroke symptoms, the first step is to determine which type of stroke is occurring. There are two main types and they are not treated the same way. 

Using CT scan can help doctors determine whether the symptoms are coming from a blocked blood vessel or a bleeding vessel. Additional tests may also be used to find the location of a blood clot or bleeding within the brain.

Types of Strokes

Ischemic Stroke : This is the most common type of stroke. Nearly 90% of strokes fall into this category. A blood clot that obstructs a blood vessel inside the brain is the reason for the Ischemic Stroke. The clot may develop on the spot or travel through the blood from elsewhere in the body.

Hemorrhagic Stroke : Hemorrhagic strokes are less common but far more likely to be fatal. They occur when a weakened blood vessel in the brain bursts. The result is bleeding inside the brain that can be difficult to stop.

Mini-Stroke (TIA) : A transient ischemic attack, often called a "mini-stroke," is more like a close call. Blood flow is temporarily impaired to part of the brain, causing symptoms similar to an actual stroke. When the blood flows again, the symptoms disappear. A TIA is a warning sign that a stroke may happen soon.


Certain chronic conditions increase the risk of stroke. Controlling of  High blood pressure, High cholesterol, Diabetes, Obesity  may reduce the risk. Certain behaviors such as Smoking, Getting too little exercise, Heavy use of alcohol increase the risk of stroke. A poor diet may increase the risk for stroke in a few significant ways. A diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fish may help lower stroke risk.


Thanks for reading Brain Strokes

« Prev Post