1 – What is the Stroke
The World Health Organization defines stroke as a neurological deficit of cerebrovascular cause that persists beyond 24 hours or is interrupted by death within 24 hours. Stroke is often referred to as cerebrovascular accident or CVA. This condition is characterized by the rapid loss of brain function due to a disruption of blood supply to the brain.
This blood supply disturbance may be caused by ischemia or lack of blood due to blood vessel blockage like in cases of arterial embolism, hemorrhage or thrombosis. As a consequence, the affected area of the brain cannot optimally function and this can result to paralysis on one or more limbs on one side of the body, inability to see in one side of the visual field or a person may find it a struggle to formulate or understand speech.
When stroke is left untreated it will cause irreversible permanent neurological damage and it may even cause a person his/her life.
2 – The First Cause of Stroke
There are two main causes of stroke, one is ischemic and the other one is hemorrhagic.
Ischemic stroke – in an ischemic stroke, several parts of the brain are bereft of nutrients and oxygen. This happens when certain blood vessels supplying these areas of the brain become blocked. Eventually, oxygen and nutrient deprived cells become damaged and die.
Ischemic stroke can happen in two different ways.
First is arterial thrombosis or commonly called cerebral thrombosis or thrombotic stroke. This occurs when a thrombus or a blood clot appears and forms within the artery that supplies the brain. The thrombus blocks the blood flow.
Another cause for ischemic stroke is cerebral embolism or embolic stroke. This type of stroke occurs when a blood clot or an embolus forms in other parts of the body (usually found in one of the larger arteries of the heart) and then travels up to the brain and blocks the blood supply.
Since the brain is the main controller of your body, damage to it can affect a variety of functions including speech, movement, vision and even emotions. Ischemic stroke is common in ages sixty five years old and above. However, this type of stroke can happen to anyone at any age.
3 – The Second Cause of Stroke
Hemorrhagic stroke – Hemorrhagic stroke occurs when blood leaks out of a blood vessel or when a blood vessel all of a sudden ruptures.
Brain hemorrhages result from this type of stroke. Many conditions predispose a person to hemorrhagic stroke including hypertension or uncontrolled high blood pressure, aneurysms or weak areas of your blood vessel wall.
Hemorrhagic stroke have two types one is intracerebral hemorrhage and the other is subarachnoid hemorrhage.
In intracerebral hemorrhage a blood vessel in the brain ruptures and fills the surrounding brain tissue with blood. As a result of the leak, brain cells that are deprived of blood die. Conditions that cause intracerebral hemorrhage include vascular malformations, use of blood-thinning medications, trauma and high blood pressure.
In subarachnoid hemorrhage, an artery in close proximity to the surface of the brain bursts and then fills into the spaces between the surfaces of the brain and the skill with blood. A person who is having a subarachnoid hemorrhage may report of a sudden and severe headache.
The common cause for subarachnoid hemorrhage is the rupture of an aneurysm. An aneurysm is a small berry-shaped out pouching of an artery found in the brain. Brain cell damage occurs right after hemorrhage.
A stroke is considered to be a medical emergency and prompt treatment is needed in order for the person to survive. When blood supply to the brain is severely interrupted, brain tissues become deprived of oxygen and nutrients and within a matter of minutes, the cells in your brain will begin to degenerate and die.