A stroke occurs when blood vessels quit supplying blood to the brain. It is a medical emergency, and the fallout from experiencing a stroke can be dangerous and life-threatening.
There are two different types of stroke. An ischemic stroke is when the flow of blood through a blood vessel is blocked, often by a clot that breaks loose somewhere in the body, causing brain cells to die off. The second type of stroke is called a hemorrhagic stroke. This occurs when a blood vessel breaks and causes bleeding into the brain or the spaces around the brain.
Symptoms of a Stroke
Symptoms of a stroke include numbness or weakness in the face, arm or leg. Sometimes this will happen on just one side of the body. A stroke may also cause vision problems, difficulty with speech or confusion. Troubles with balance, walking and coordination are also common. These symptoms can also be accompanied by a severe headache. Sometimes nausea and vomiting, double vision or drowsiness can also occur.
Prevention and Treatment
There are a number of lifestyle-related risk factors that can make someone more likely to have a stroke. These include obesity, inactivity, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and smoking, among others. Making positive changes like eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight and managing medical conditions can all play a role in preventing stroke.
When a stroke does occur, it requires emergency medical attention. Doctors will work to break up the clot and restore the flow of blood to the brain in the case of ischemic stroke, or remove the excess blood from the brain and repair the broken vessel in the case of hemorrhagic stroke. Stroke can sometimes cause neurological complications, so rehabilitation is sometimes necessary for a patient after a stroke.
SOURCES: U.S. National Institutes of Health; U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Life span about three years less than for whites, heart association statement says
Each decade of teetotaling lowers risk of atrial fibrillation, study finds
Describing the different forms
More people survive these brain attacks, but the health problems that cause stroke aren't going away
Attending an exciting game can double the heart rate of spectators
Newer class of drugs can interact with multiple medications, researchers report
Swedish study finds those who quit the daily low-dose pill face a more rapid risk of cardio woes
One critical trait emerged when researchers reviewed smoking and drinking habits, weight, diet and exercise
To prevent significant health problems
Higher odds detected, even without diabetes or high blood pressure, study finds
Small study links the devices to higher blood pressure, heart rate and stiffer arteries
Too much overtime may pose a threat to your heart
High rates of obesity and diabetes are a major culprit, researchers say
The taller you are, the higher your odds for blood clots in your veins, research suggests
Rates have fallen among those 70 and older; gains against heart disease might explain trend
Factors such as cholesterol and blood pressure might be less of a concern, study contends
Study ties insomnia to heightened odds for heart disease, stroke
But don't give up on fruits, vegetables and legumes -- they're still good for you
Study of injected medication suggests reductions in inflammation could be treatment target
Continuous long-term monitoring led to diagnosis in 1 out of 3 high-risk adults
Most of these strokes involve bleeding into the brain: study
Aggressive treatment seemed well-tolerated and worth greater expense, studies found
Study found heightened odds for dangerous clots that travel throughout body
And, the worse the kidney problems, the greater the odds of the heart condition, researchers say
Stroke rates are declining significantly in men, but not in women, study finds
Explanations for the disparity aren't clear
New evidence review reconfirms patient guidelines
Country-wide comparison finds geography, age and gender affect who gets cholesterol-lowering meds