Stroke and Aneurysms
What is a Stroke?
A stroke happens when the blood supply to part of the brain has been cut off because a blood clot has blocked a blood vessel. Blood clots can travel to the brain from another artery or they can come from the heart. An arteriovenous malformation (AVM) is an abnormal tangle of blood vessels with the main abnormality being direct communication between arteries and veins without intervening capillaries. An aneurysm is an abnormal widening or ballooning of a portion of an artery due to weakness in the wall of the blood vessel.
Types of Stroke
There are two types of strokes: hemorrhagic or ischemic.
- A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when the brain arteries rupture
- An ischemic stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off
Signs and Symptoms
Knowing the signs and symptoms of a stroke is critical. Time is brain – every minute a stroke goes untreated, a person loses about 1.9 million neurons. Meaning memory, movement and speech could be affected. If you experience any of the stroke signs, act FAST and dial 9-1-1. Use the National Stroke Association’s FAST test to remember warning signs that assesses three specific symptoms of a stroke:
- Facial weakness – can the person smile? Has their mouth or eye drooped?
- Arm weakness – can the person raise both arms?
- Speech problems – can the person speak clearly and understand what you say?
- Time to call 911
The different types of stroke determine the kind of treatment you will receive. Ischemic stroke is the most common type and is treated by busting or removing the clot. There are two ways to remove or bust the clot, medically or mechanically. Tissue plasminogen activator, tPA, is given within three to 4.5 hours to eligible patients. The other way is the physical removal of the clot, an endovascular procedure. The doctor will put a catheter through an artery in the groin up to the blocked artery in the brain. Allowing the doctor to grab the clot with the stent and remove it.
Hemorrhagic strokes happen as a result of a rupture and the goal is to stop the bleeding. A catheter can sometimes be threaded up through a major artery in the arm or leg to the brain tissue. Once the catheter is at the source, it deposits a mechanical agent, like a coil, to prevent further ruptures.
Interesting Stroke Facts
- More than 2.3 million people are affected by MS worldwide
- Stroke is the 5th leading cause of death in the US
- In adults, 80% of strokes are preventable
- About 795,000 Americans suffer a new or recurrent stroke each yearv
- Stroke kills more than 137,000 people a year, that’s almost 1 out of every 18 deaths
- 60% of stroke deaths occur in females and 40% are in males
Learn More about the Stroke Specialists Near You!
Physicians Providing Care for stroke.