Saturday, December 3, 2016

Stroke: A Brief Insight

A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of your brain is interrupted or severely reduced, depriving brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients. Within minutes, brain cells begin to die.1 A stroke is a very serious medical emergency, immediate treatment is crucial to saving the life at hand. The sooner medical treatment is administered the better chances of minimizing brain damage and other potential complications after the stroke has taken place. There are three different types of stroke; ischemic, hemorrhagic, and transient ischemic attack (TIA).
An ischemic stroke develops when a blood vessel (artery) supplying blood to an area of the brain becomes blocked by a blood clot.2 Ischemic stroke is the most common type of stroke. They occur when the arteries that connect to the brain become blocked or narrowed, resulting in ischemia. Ischemic blockage is often caused by blood clots, which can form either in the arteries connecting to the brain, or in another location before being swept through the bloodstream to the narrower arteries within the brain.

Hemorrhagic strokes are less common than ischemic strokes. Hemorrhagic strokes are caused by arteries in the brain either leaking blood or rupturing entirely. The hemorrhaged blood then collects in the skull, putting pressure on the brain cells and ultimately damaging them. Causes include a bleeding aneurysm, an arteriovenous malformation (AVM), or an artery wall that breaks open.3 These ruptures can be caused by conditions such as hypertension, trauma, blood-thinning medications, and aneurysms.

Transient ischemic attack or TIA strokes are often called mini-strokes, or warning strokes. Even though these aren’t as serious as ischemic strokes or hemorrhagic strokes it should still be taken very seriously. TIA is caused by a clot; the only difference between a stroke and TIA is that with TIA the blockage is transient (temporary).4 Most TIA’s will last from 1-5 minutes; The average being about one minute. Once the TIA is over there is usually no permanent injury to the brain.

Signs and Symptoms
·         Confusion; Including trouble speaking and understanding.
·         Headache; With possible altered consciousness or nausea.
·         Numbness of the face, extremities, particularly on one side of the body.
·         Vision complications with one or both eyes.
·         Trouble with movement, including dizziness and lack of coordination.
·         Pain in the hands and feet that gets worse with movement.
·         Paralysis or weakness of one or both sides of the body.

Strokes can cause several different long term problems. Depending on how quickly the stroke is diagnosed and medically treated, the individual can experience temporary or permanent disabilities after any type of stroke occurs.

Strokes can be dramatically life changing physically, mentally, and emotionally. With each individual the effects can be mild to severe depending on treatment time and what type of stroke occurred. As such, different rehabilitation types may need to be administered in order to a person who has experienced a stroke to fully recover. Different types of rehabilitation that may be administered include speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, etc. Each victim will have different strengths and weaknesses that must be identified and addressed before rehabilitation can begin. It is important to plan a detailed rehabilitation schedule that adheres to the individual's needs and goals throughout rehabilitation. After reading this blog you should have been familiarized with the different types of strokes, what causes each stroke, signs and symptoms of a stroke, and rehabilitation that takes place after the stroke has occurred. In my next blog I will be covering Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, its symptoms, and treatment of the disorder.

1Mayo Clinic Staff Print. (2016, August 10). Stroke. Retrieved November 07, 2016, from
2Healthwise Staff. (2015, August 21). Ischemic Stroke. Retrieved November 07, 2016, from
3National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. (2016, July 18). Hemorrhagic Stroke: MedlinePlus. Retrieved November 07, 2016, from
4American Heart Association. (2016, October 25). TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack). Retrieved November 07, 2016, from
5By Leslie Ritter, PhD, RN, and Bruce Coull, MD. (n.d.). Lowering the Risks of Stroke in Women (and Men). Retrieved November 07, 2016, from

1 comment:

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed this blog because this blog educates its audience on the different types of strokes. I, for one, did not know there were 3 different types of strokes that could occur. All of which could cause similar signs and symptoms, making it hard to differentiate between strokes. This blog clearly identifies and defines what a stroke is, the different kinds of strokes, and the treatment associated with each kind of stroke. Good information and a well written blog.