When the blood flow to an individual’s brain is interrupted, the medical emergency that ensues is called a stroke. Without proper blood flow, brain cells begin to die, causing serious symptoms, persistent disability, and sometimes death. In the Dallas region, 1 out of every 2000 individuals will die from one of two types of stroke. There are two main types stroke, and both require immediate medical treatment.
The World Health Organization report, ‘Neurological disorders: Public health challenges’, estimates that around 50 million suffer from epilepsy and 24 million from Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia, with an estimated 7.7 million new cases being diagnosed on annual basis. It’s estimated that Alzheimer’s disease accounts for around 60 to 70 percent of dementia cases worldwide.
The World Health Organization estimates that one in ten people throughout the world lives with migraines of varying severity, and that an estimated six million people die as a result of a stroke or from complications resulting from their stroke.
What are the different types of strokes?
There are two main types of stroke: ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke. it is reported that 87 percent of strokes are the ischemic type.
When a blood clot forms and blocks the flow of blood to the brain, it is referred to as an ischemic stroke. Blood clots may form for several reasons. Atherosclerosis is the restricted flow of blood through a blood vessel that is caused by fatty buildup. When a piece of the build up breaks off, it may cause a stroke. Broken bones can lead to DVT clots which can break off and cause a stroke.
There are two types of ischemic strokes:
- Embolic. The blood clot travels from somewhere in your body to your brain. Individuals who have atrial fibrillation, or irregular heartbeat, are predisposed for embolic strokes.
- Thrombotic. This type of stroke is caused by blood clots forming directly in the brain.
A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures or breaks. Blood spills into the surrounding tissues, causing a stroke.
There are three main types of hemorrhagic strokes:
Aneurysm. A weakened blood vessel balloons and sometimes breaks.
Arteriovenous malformation. An abnormally formed blood vessel rupture.
High blood pressure. Weakening of smaller blood vessels in the brain result in bleeds.
What are the symptoms of a stroke?
Although there are two different types of strokes, they result in similar symptoms. A neurologist will view your brain with imaging to determine the type of stroke that was experienced.
Symptoms that may indicate that an individual is experiencing a stroke include:
- sudden confusion or difficulty understanding speech
- difficulty walking and loss of coordination
- sudden, severe headache
- difficulty with vision
- slurred speech
Individuals who have experienced a stroke may have the following permanent changes:
- Behavior and mental challenges. Experiencing a stroke can cause ongoing depression or anxiety.
- Difficulty with speech. Having a stroke can affect areas of the brain associated with speech and swallowing.
- Numbness or pain. Numbness and decreased sensation in parts of the body can follow a stroke. Heightened sensation can also occur, causing pain.
- Paralysis. Individuals who have suffered from a stroke may be unable to use facial muscles or move limbs on an entire side of the body.
How can a stroke be prevented?
If a person has had a stroke, their risk of having another increase. It is reported that one-fourth of individuals who have experienced a stroke will have another stroke within five years.
It is important to understand that there are precautions that may be taken to reduce the risk of stroke including:
- increasing regular physical activity
- eating a healthy, well balanced diet
- maintaining a normal weight for your height and build
- reducing excessive drinking
- refraining from illegal drug use, specifically cocaine and methamphetamine
- Treating sleep apnea to reduce strain on the heart
Lone Star Neurology – The Leading Texas Stroke Specialists
If you or a loved one have experienced a stroke or feel you are predisposed for having a stroke, reach out to our team at Lone Star Neurology. With many years of experience treating and preventing strokes, we are here to support you every step of the way. From prevention, to the initial diagnosis, to treatment and aftercare, our team is here and ready to support you with your condition. For more information visit our stroke page or give us a call today!