CardioSpecialists Group, Ltd.
What Is a Stroke?
A stroke is also called a cerebrovascular accident (CVA).
There are several types of stroke, depending upon their cause. Strokes that result from a blockage in one of the arteries that provides your brain with oxygenated blood are called ischemic strokes. If the block happened from a blood clot that forms near a narrowing of the artery from plaque deposits. This is called a thrombotic ischemic stroke. Sometimes a blood clot can travel from another part of the body to the arteries in the brain. When they get stuck in one of the brain arteries, it is called an embolic ischemic stroke.
Rarer hemorrhagic strokes occur when a blood vessel ruptures. These can be either subarachnoid when blood leaks onto the surface of the brain or intracerebral when the blood from the rupture seeps into the brain itself.
What Causes a Stroke?
A stroke happens when a part of the brain dies because oxygenated blood is prevented from reaching it. Most often this happens because of a blood clot in one of the arteries in the brain, but sometimes, an artery can burst and parts of the brain below the rupture die when they do not get enough oxygen.
What Are the Risk Factors?
There are several factors which put you at an increased risk for having a stroke. These are generally the same risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Talk to your doctor if you are overweight, smoke, have a family history of stroke, have high blood pressure or cholesterol, have heart arrhythmias, or if you are a diabetic.
What Are the Symptoms of a Stroke?
The symptoms of stroke depend upon the area of the brain affected by the blockage. Some of the most common symptoms experienced are: paralysis or weakness on one side of the body, memory loss, slurred or confused speech, mood swings, abnormal reflexes, dizziness, or reflex problems.
If you experience any symptoms of stroke, it is imperative to get prompt medical attention to prevent life-long disability or death. Call for an ambulance if you show any signs of a stroke, especially if you are at an increased risk.