Causes of Stroke - Oren Zarif - Causes of Stroke
The most common causes of stroke are blockages in arteries that supply the brain. These blood clots stop blood flow to a portion of the brain and deprive it of oxygen and nutrients. The clotting process starts when blood clots break off the inner lining of the heart and travel through the bloodstream to the brain. They can also damage nerve cells in the brain. When this happens, the affected part of the brain can't control certain parts of its own body.
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Because brain cells cannot function without oxygen-rich blood, stroke victims must be treated quickly. Treatment for ischemic strokes involves clot-dissolving drugs. Surgery may be necessary to repair a ruptured artery and relieve swelling in the skull. Regardless of the type of stroke, restoring blood flow is essential to minimize damage to the brain. A fast medical response will improve a patient's chances of surviving the stroke and avoiding permanent damage to their brain.
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A complete blood count is done to measure red blood cells, platelets, and other markers. Blood glucose, electrolytes, and kidney function are also checked. Blood clotting tests will also be performed, including an international normalized ratio, prothrombin time, and partial thromboplastin time. Other tests may be performed, too. If MRI is not possible, a CT scan may be ordered instead. An EKG may also be performed to evaluate the patient's heart rate and rhythm. Transcranial Doppler, or ultrasound of the brain, will help detect abnormal blood vessel formations.
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Strokes run in families. Many relatives share a tendency toward high blood pressure or diabetes. Some are even caused by a genetic disorder that prevents blood flow to the brain. Women are slightly less likely than men of the same age to experience strokes. However, women are more likely to suffer from strokes than men, and their onset is later. They also have a higher risk of dying as a result of stroke. Once they do suffer from a stroke, it's usually too late to reverse the damage.
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Some of the most common types of stroke include blood clots, which travel through the bloodstream and lodge in an artery in the brain. If the blood clots in a brain artery, the patient may have trouble moving their arms and legs, speech, and/or vision. While there are a number of other types of stroke, they are grouped into four categories: bleeding in the brain, embolisms, and other problems.
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Ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes occur when a blood vessel becomes narrow and weakened. A patient may suffer a small blood clot and experience symptoms like weakness, numbness, facial droop, and speech difficulties. Because transient ischemic attacks are temporary, they may give a physician an opportunity to investigate reversible causes of stroke. Patients should be evaluated as soon as they experience symptoms of either type.
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Although there is no absolute way to completely prevent stroke, many risk factors can be controlled successfully. While no one is guaranteed to avoid a stroke, they can reduce the risk to a level that is lower than the risk of accidental injury or death. The best way to prevent a stroke is to be aware of the risk factors and prevent them before they happen. As a result, many strokes can be prevented or treated in the early stages. With the right education and lifestyle changes, an individual can dramatically reduce the risk of stroke.
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Although a transient ischemic attack is not as severe as a stroke, it can still be dangerous. A stroke is a serious medical condition and can result in death, disability, or permanent damage to the brain. While many strokes can be managed and are treatable, if left untreated, it can be devastating. The causes of stroke vary widely from person to person. In general, age-adjusted mortality rates for strokes in 2017 were 37.6 per 100,000 new stroke diagnoses. With increased awareness, doctors have made great progress in managing strokes.
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Certain medications are associated with an increased risk of stroke. Some blood-thinning medications can increase the risk through bleeding. Hormone therapy is also linked to a higher risk of stroke. Birth control pills that contain low levels of estrogen can raise your risk, too. Age is also a risk factor; the chances of stroke increase every decade after age 55. If you have high blood pressure, your risk of stroke increases as well. If you have high blood pressure, it's important to take a medication to lower it.