Stroke – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

A stroke is the damage to a part of the brain when its blood supply is suddenly cut off. When brain cells die during a stroke, abilities controlled by that area of the brain are lost. The result is abnormal brain function. Blood flow to the brain can be disrupted by either a blockage or rupture of an artery to the brain. These abilities include speech, movement and memory. Adults over the age of 40 are most likely to have strokes. Younger adults and kids can also have them. People of all races are at risk for stroke. African-Americans are almost twice as likely to die from a stroke as whites. African-Americans often have more damage.

Types of stroke is-

Hemorrhagic stroke

Ischemic stroke

Transient ischemic attack

Causes

Some stroke risk factors are hereditary. Others are a function of natural processes. Still others result from a person’s lifestyle. A risk factor is a condition or behavior that occurs more frequently in those who have, or are at greater risk of getting, a disease than in those who don’t. Having a risk factor for stroke doesn’t mean you’ll have a stroke. Cigarette smoking has been linked to the buildup of fatty substances in the carotid artery, the main neck artery supplying blood to the brain. Blockage of this artery is the leading cause of stroke in Americans. Also, nicotine raises blood pressure; carbon monoxide reduces the amount of oxygen your blood can carry to the brain; and cigarette smoke makes your blood thicker and more likely to clot.

There are five uncontrollable risk factors:

* Age – your chances of having a stroke go up as you get older. Two-thirds of all strokes happen to people over age 65. Your stroke risk doubles with each decade past age 55.
* Sex – males have a slightly higher risk than females.
* Race – American blacks have a higher stroke risk than most other racial groups.
* Family history of diabetes.
* Family history of stroke.

Symptoms

Symptoms vary depending on whether the stroke is caused by a clot or bleeding. The location of the blood clot or bleeding and the extent of brain damage can also affect symptoms. Different people may have different symptoms and signs of heat stroke. But common symptoms and signs of heart stroke include:

* high body temperature
* the absence of sweating, with hot red or flushed dry skin
* rapid pulse
* difficulty breathing
* strange behavior
* hallucinations
* confusion
* agitation
* disorientation
* seizure
* coma

Treatment

Treatment depends on whether the stroke is ischemic or hemorrhagic and on the underlying cause of the condition. The long-term goals of treatment include rehabilitation and prevention of additional strokes. Stroke is a medical emergency. Prompt treatment of a stroke could mean the difference between life and death. Early treatment can also minimize damage to your brain and potential disability.

Your surgeon makes an incision in your neck to expose your carotid artery. The artery is opened, the plaques are removed, and your surgeon closes the artery. In people with marked blockages in the carotid artery who are candidates for the surgery, the procedure may reduce the risk of ischemic stroke.