A stroke is an interruption in blood supply to the brain that causes brain cell death. Some strokes result in permanent disability, whereas others are so mild that they go unnoticed. Depending on where a stroke occurs in the brain and the severity of the stroke, one or more body systems may be affected. For these reasons, it is safe to say that stroke does not always look the same from person to person.
There are two major types of stroke: ischemic and hemorrhagic.
Over 80% of strokes are ischemic strokes, resulting when a vessel within the brain is blocked by a blood clot or other bodily matter. This blockage reduces oxygen-delivering blood flow and causes progressive brain tissue death. A drug known as tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) can be given within the first few hours of stroke to help dissolve a blood clot and restore blood flow, thereby improving outcomes. As it may be hard to recognize the signs of a stroke, may individuals miss the “window” for tPA and are treated via other means.
Hemorrhagic strokes are less common, resulting from bleeding within the brain and skull. Blood vessels altered by an arteriovenous malformation (AVM), brain aneurysm, or a disease process may be more likely to rupture and bleed. A ruptured vessel can cause blood to accumulate within the brain, compressing its tissues and causing a dangerous increase in pressure, leading to cell death. Hemorrhagic strokes may be treated by reducing pressure within the skull and administering drugs to stop the bleeding.
The term “mini-stroke” is often used to describe a mild stroke-like episode from which someone recovers quickly. This type of stroke is known as a transient ischemic attack or TIA. Like an ischemic stroke, a TIA is caused by reduced bloodflow to the brain; however, the symptoms of a TIA resolve within an hour. Despite the fact that a TIA may seem like a passing event, this type of mini-stroke is usually a warning sign of a future, bigger stroke. Over 30% of individuals who have a TIA will have a larger stroke within the year. Therefore, it is important to discuss any experience of stroke-like symptoms with your doctor.
If you have had a stroke and are looking for an effective solution for your rehabilitation needs, please look into the NEOFECT line of Smart Rehabilitation products. Our neurorehabilitation products include support from occupational therapists to maximize functional gains. Please call (866) 534-4989 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for further inquiry.
American Stroke Association. Types of Stroke. 2019, https://www.stroke.org/en/about-stroke/types-of-stroke.
Mayo Clinic. Stroke: Symptoms and Causes. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 5 Sept. 2019, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/stroke/symptoms-causes/syc-20350113.
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