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Saturday, March 22, 2008


Stroke is a disease which is caused when blood flow is prevented from the part of the brain. A stroke destroys or damages the brain cells and as a result there is a loss of function of any part of the body. When a stroke is severe, then it causes to death and adult disability.

Sometimes it is also called brain attacks due to the disfunction of the brain. The main reason when a stroke occurs is insufficient oxygen to the brain. Due to stroke, the death rate in African and American women is 79.1 deaths per 100,000. If the person suspects a stroke he should immediately contact a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

Causes of Stroke

The causes of stroke depend on the following:-

  • An ischemic stroke is caused when the blood flow to the brain is blocked by a blood clot. Some of the causes for this type of stroke are:-
        • Heart attack
        • Blood clotting disorders
        • Hardening of the arteries
        • Infection of the heart valves
        • Low blood pressure

Some surgeries and procedures can also cause a blood clot and as a result a stroke is occurred.

  • A Hemorrhagic stroke is caused when there is a bleeding inside the brain or around the brain. The causes of Hemorrhagic stroke are:-
  • Radiation treatment for cancer in the neck or brain
  • Hemophilia
  • Inflammation in the blood vessels

Symptoms and Sign of Stroke

If the person seeks the symptoms of a stroke he should be immediately treated. Symptoms are:-

  • Severe headache
  • Vision problems in one or both eyes
  • Numbness, weakness in the body
  • Confusion, trouble speaking or understanding

Sometimes the symptoms also depend on whether it is caused by a clot or bleeding. So, the symptoms are:-

    • Ischemic stroke occurs in the side of the body opposite from the side of the brain where the clot occurred.
    • Hemorrhagic stroke occurs due to nausea and vomiting, dizziness, severe headache etc.

Risk Factors of Stroke

There are certain risks which can be controlled or some are not controlled. The risks which can be controlled are:-

  • Smoking
  • Being overweight
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes

The risks which cannot be controlled are:-

  • Gender
  • Race
  • Family history
  • Age

Diagnosis of Stroke

When a stroke is severe, a person should immediately contact a doctor so that he can recommend some medications. Firstly the doctor will examine the type of stroke and the examination of this type of stroke is critical.

The most important test after a stroke is CT scan which is a type of an X-ray that can identify whether there is a bleeding or a blood clot in the brain. MRI can also be done to check how much damage is there to the brain.

Various tests can be done for ischemic stroke are blood tests, electrocardiogram etc. Many other tests are also done such as Carotid ultrasound, MRA, Carotid angiogram etc.

Treatment of Stroke

Some problems such as high blood sugar and pressure on the brain can be reduced and the chances of survival can be more if prompt treatment of stroke can be done. Doctors also recommend the patients to join a rehabilitation program so the chances of recovery can be more.

When the doctor determine the type of stroke he will soon start the treatment. During treatment, the patient’s blood pressure and breathing ability are monitored. Ischemic stroke is treated in the following ways:-

  • Patient will be given some medications.
  • If the diagnosis for stroke has been done within three hours before the
  • starting of symptoms then a patient will be given t-PA.
  • Aspirin is also given to the patients.

Hemorrhagic stroke is treated in the following ways:-

  • Medications are given so that blood pressure, blood sugar levels, fever can be controlled.
  • Surgery is done in cases when blood is removed that has built up inside the brain.

Prevention of Stroke

  • If the person has hardening of the arteries then he should contact the doctor about the preventions he should take like an aspirin or not.
  • If there is a swishing sound in the blood flow through the large blood vessels in the neck then the patient should ask the doctor to have an ultrasound.
  • Regular medical checkups should be there.
  • Cocaine and illegal drugs should be avoided.

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