Saturday, March 3, 2012

What’s Stroke Causes, signs, Symptoms?

What is a stroke?
Every stroke is unique; A stroke is when a clogged or burst artery interrupts blood flow to the brain. This interruption of blood flow deprives the brain of needed oxygen and causes the affected brain cells to die. When brain cells die, function of the body parts they control is impaired or lost.
Brain cell function requires a constant delivery of oxygen and glucose from the bloodstream. A stroke, or cerebrovascular accident (CVA), occurs when blood supply to part of the brain is disrupted, causing brain cells to die. Blood flow can be compromised by a variety of mechanisms.
A stroke can cause paralysis or muscle weakness, loss of feeling, speech and language problems, memory and reasoning problems, swallowing difficulties, problems of vision and visual perception, coma, and even death.

What causes a stroke?
Blockage of blood vessels in the brain
Clots can travel from the blood vessels of the heart or neck and lodge in the brain.
Small vessels in the brain can become blocked, often due to high blood pressure or damage from diabetes.
Clots can form in the blood vessels of the brain due to arteriosclerosis.
Bleeding into or around the brain
Weak spots on brain arteries (aneurysms) burst, covering the brain with blood.
Blood vessels in the brain break because they have been weakened by damage due to high blood pressure, diabetes, or aging.
A stroke is a potentially fatal medical condition that results when the brain is deprived of a normal blood supply. Some strokes occur when the brain has insufficient blood, while others take place when there's too much blood in the skull. In both cases, however, prompt treatment often leads to reduced brain damage and fewer future complications.
Ischemic Stroke
According to the Mayo Foundation, 80 percent of all strokes are classified as ischemic strokes. This type of stroke is caused by ischemia, a condition in which blood flow to the brain is restricted as a result of blocked or narrowed arteries.
There are two kinds of ischemic stroke. A thrombotic stroke results when a thrombus (blood clot) develops in an artery that provides blood to the brain. Such clots often arise when plaques (fatty deposits) accumulate in arteries, a condition called atherosclerosis.
An embolic stroke occurs when an artery in the brain becomes clogged after a particle or thrombus develops in a blood vessel located in another area of the body, such as the heart, and then travels toward the brain through the bloodstream.
Hemorrhagic Stroke
Hemorrhagic stroke results from a leaking or ruptured blood vessel in the brain. Frequent causes include aneurysms (weakened blood vessels) and high blood pressure.
The two categories of hemorrhagic stroke are intracerebral and subarachnoid. Intracerebral hemorrhage occurs when a blood vessel ruptures in the brain and causes cell damage by leaking blood into nearby tissue. High blood pressure is the most frequent cause.
Ruptured aneurysms are the most common source of subarachnoid hemorrhage, which occurs when an artery on the outer portion of the brain bursts and then leaks blood in the area separating the brain and the skull.
Transient Ischemic Attacks

Also called ministroke or TIA, transient ischemic attacks are very short periods during which victims experience symptoms that resemble those of a normal stroke. The causes are identical to an ischemic stroke, namely decreased blood flow to the brain due to a blockage in a blood vessel that supplies blood to the organ. In contrast, however, TIAs involve a much shorter period of blockage, and they produce no permanent damage.
Symptoms mainly -

Although many victims experience no symptoms beforehand, there are numerous signs that sometimes alert individuals when a stroke may be about to occur. Seek immediate medical attention if the victim develops difficulty seeing, speaking or walking; a headache characterized by acute pain, changed consciousness, stiffness in the neck or vomiting; or numbness or paralysis on only one side.
Stroke Symptoms and Signs
A stroke results from impaired oxygen delivery to brain cells via the bloodstream. According to the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the five major signs of stroke are the sudden onset of:
1. Numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body. The loss of voluntary movement and/or sensation may be complete or partial. There may also be an associated tingling sensation in the affected area.
2. Confusion, trouble speaking or understanding. Sometimes weakness in the muscles of the face can cause drooling.
3. Trouble seeing in one or both eyes
4. Trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
5. Severe headache with no known cause

The severity of complications from a stroke depends on the amount of time the brain experienced abnormal blood flow. Common issues after a stroke include cognitive impairment, loss of memory, numbness or pain in areas that the stroke affected, paralysis, problems swallowing or talking and reduced muscle function.
What physical and emotional problems occur after a stroke?
Common warning signs of a stroke include the following:
Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm and/or leg
Sudden confusion, trouble speaking, or difficulty understanding speech.
Sudden difficulty seeing in one or both eyes.
Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance, or loss of coordination.
Sudden severe headache with no known cause

If you or anyone you know experiences any of the above warning signs, call your doctor or go to an emergency room immediately.
Because of the organization of our nervous system, an injury to one side of the brain affects the opposite side of the body. Often the person loses movement and/or feeling in the arm and/or leg opposite the side of the brain affected by the stroke. So, if a person has a stroke on the left side of the brain, he or she may have weakness or paralysis in the right arm and leg. This makes it difficult for the person to perform activities of daily living. It is also common for survivors of stroke to tire easily.
How is a stroke diagnosed?
A stroke is diagnosed by medical professionals. Special tests that allow doctors to look at the person's brain (CT scan, MRI) are often used to determine where the stroke occurred and how severe it is.
A speech-language pathologist (SLP) Works with other rehabilitation and medical professionals and families to provide a comprehensive evaluation and treatment plan for stroke survivors. The team may include:
Occupational therapists
Physical therapists
Social workers

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