Causes of Stroke - Oren Zarif - Causes of Stroke
There are several causes of stroke. Those causes will affect a person differently. The most common type of stroke is ischemic, which involves a blockage of blood flow to the brain. During an ischemic stroke, the blood flow is restored using clot-dissolving drugs. Hemorrhagic strokes may require surgery to repair a ruptured artery or remove swelling from within the skull. No matter the cause, quick medical treatment is essential to minimize the damage to the brain.
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A transient ischemic attack, or TISA, is a warning or ministroke that only lasts for a short time. This is a stroke where a blood clot prevents blood from reaching the brain. The clot is often caused by atherosclerosis, a buildup of fatty deposits in the arteries. These fatty deposits may break off and block the flow of blood to the brain.
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Some of the common causes of stroke include heart disease, high blood pressure, and a history of head trauma. The risk of stroke is especially high in African Americans, with 60% more African-Americans experiencing a second stroke within two years of the first. Ischemic stroke, on the other hand, is caused by a blockage of the brain's arteries, causing severe blood flow reduction and significant damage to the brain's cells. In addition, blood clots may form in the arteries of the brain, and get carried into the narrower parts of the brain.
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A mini-stroke, also called a transient ischemic attack, is a brief period of symptoms similar to those of a stroke, but it usually resolves without permanent damage. In transient ischemic attack, the blood flow to a part of the brain is interrupted temporarily by a clot or debris, but the symptoms typically disappear within a few hours. A transient ischemic attack may be the first of many types of stroke.
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Another type of stroke occurs when a blood vessel supplying the brain becomes narrowed or occluded. When this happens, the oxygen-rich blood cannot reach the brain's cells. This is a form of ischemic stroke. This type of stroke can also be caused by a blood clot in another part of the body. This clot moves through the bloodstream until it hits the narrowed artery, preventing blood from reaching the brain.
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When a blood vessel to the brain becomes blocked or burst, it stops the supply of oxygen-rich blood to that part of the brain. Without oxygen, brain cells die. A stroke can affect speech, memory, and movement. In severe cases, it can even result in death. Fortunately, most cases of stroke are treatable, although they can cause life-threatening disabilities. The majority of strokes are ischemic and not caused by bleeding.
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While lifestyle changes can't prevent every case of stroke, it can greatly reduce the risk of a recurring occurrence. Quitting smoking, for example, is a major lifestyle change that can reduce your risk of a stroke. Talk with your doctor about quitting if you need help. Heavy alcohol consumption increases your blood pressure and can cause a stroke. Quitting alcohol can be difficult, but your doctor can help you quit if you need it.
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Hemorrhagic stroke is another cause of stroke. It happens when a blood vessel containing oxygen and blood suddenly ruptures, causing excess pressure in the skull and brain tissue. The most severe type of stroke, hemorrhagic stroke, results in a permanent loss of brain function. This type of stroke is the most deadly. There are two types of hemorrhagic strokes - intracerebral hemorrhage and subarachnoid hemorrhage. Subarachnoid hemorrhages happen when a blood-filled pouch or aneurysm ruptures, which spills blood into the space between the brain and skull.
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A moderate alcohol consumption also lowers the risk of a stroke. Those who drink heavily are up to three times more likely to suffer a stroke - a haemorrhagic stroke. Limit your alcohol consumption to one or two drinks a day and try to make two alcohol-free days a week. Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables and cut back on processed food and sugary foods. And don't forget to exercise! If you don't exercise, you can increase your chances of a stroke.