When the blood supply in the brain is cut off through internal bleeding in the cranial region, a stroke occurs. If a stroke does not kill its victim, it can cause long term brain damage.
There are three types of stroke:
The thrombus stroke is as a result of blood clot formations in the brain. The hemorrhagic stroke is caused by internal bleeding in the brain, and the embolus stroke is induced by blood clots travelling from another area in the body to the brain.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF A STROKE
Strokes are caused by several different malfunctions within the body.
NARROWED ARTERIES: Arteries transport blood and oxygen around the body. When a stricture within the arteries occurs, it prohibits the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain, which can lead to a stroke.
BLEEDING: If an artery in the brain, or surrounding the brain bursts, it can cause severe internal bleeding, which in turn can lead to a stroke.
CLOTTING: A common cause of stroke is clotting. Arteries closer to the brain, are smaller than the all other arteries. This can lead to the blood clot becoming cemented within the cranial cavity, blocking complete blood flow to the brain, which can cause a stroke.
TUMOR OR SWELLING: A tumour or swelling within the brain is caused by infection; excessive swelling or growth of a tumour can put pressure on the arteries, causing blood supply to be cut off from the brain.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF A STROKE
A stroke can cause weakness, or numbness on one side of the body, which is typically located in arm, leg, hand or face. A stroke can also cause a speech impediment, which manifests in the form of pronouncing words incorrectly or mumbling.
Other symptoms of a stroke include an inability to comprehend spoken or written words. Confusion and being unable to walk or stand are also symptoms of a stroke.
HOW IS A STROKE DIAGNOSED
There are several tests that can be carried out to diagnose a stroke.
BRAIN SCAN: This will determine the cause of the stroke, which part of the brain has been affected, and the severity of the stroke.
CT SCAN: A CT scan is similar to an X-ray, and uses several images to construct a detailed three-dimensional image of the brain to assist the doctor in identifying problem areas within the brain.
HOW IS A STROKE TREATED
Effective treatment of a stroke will prevent long term physical disability. The treatments that are recommended are dependent upon the cause of the stroke.
ASPIRIN: Aspirin thins the blood, and prevents blood clots, this is an immediate treatment provided in the emergency room to prevent another stroke from occurring.
TISSUE PLASMINOGEN ACTICATOR (TPA). Also referred to as alteplase, this treatment is administered intravenously and assists in the removal of blood clots.
MECHANICAL CLOT REMOVAL: This procedure involves the use of a catheter to place a device inside the brain to remove or break up the clot.
WHAT IS MY PROGNOSIS
Stroke victims typically make a full recovery, and regain total independence. Some will have to live with minor disabilities, and a small percentage with more severe disabilities. Whatever your physical needs are, our team of experienced doctors at the Kentucky Neurology and Rehab center located in Lexington, KY will be able to assist you.