A stroke is a medical emergency. There are two types - ischemic and hemorrhagic. Ischemic stroke is the more common type. It is usually caused by a blood clot that blocks or plugs a blood vessel in the brain. This keeps blood from flowing to the brain. Within minutes, brain cells begin to die. Another cause is stenosis, or narrowing of the artery. This can happen because of atherosclerosis, a disease in which plaque builds up inside your arteries. Transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) occur when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted briefly. Having a TIA can mean you are at risk for having a more serious stroke.
Symptoms of stroke are:
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg (especially on one side of the body)
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause
It is important to treat strokes as quickly as possible. Blood thinners may be used to stop a stroke while it is happening by quickly dissolving the blood clot. Post-stroke rehabilitation can help people overcome disabilities caused by stroke damage.
NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Prevention and Risk Factors
- Device Interventions for Stroke Prevention in Atrial Fibrillation (American Heart Association)
- What Are Anticoagulants and Antiplatelet Agents? (American Heart Association) - PDF
- Atherosclerosis and Stroke (American Stroke Association)
- CADASIL (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke)
- Adenosine deaminase 2 deficiency: MedlinePlus Genetics (National Library of Medicine)
- Cerebral autosomal recessive arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy: MedlinePlus Genetics (National Library of Medicine)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Risk factors for acute ischemic stroke in patients with type 2...
- Article: Management of Poststroke Hyperglycemia: Results of the TEXAIS Randomized Clinical Trial.
- Article: Relationship between Parkinson's disease and cardio-cerebrovascular diseases: a Mendelian randomized study.
- Ischemic Stroke -- see more articles