Strokes and More About Strokes
Information passed on by Megan Cline
The Basics you Need to Know About Strokes
What to Look for as a Warning
The Hard Evidence
These tests are great in providing information while the disaster is occuring, or to diagnose the extent of the damage after the stroke has happened. Sadly there are no diagnostic tests that would be helpful in the prevention, for strokes occur rapidly.
- Cerebral Angiography- maps out the interuption or displacement of the circulation on the brain.
- Digital Subraction Angiography- uses a radioactive die in order to identify any abnormalities in the blood vessels in the head an neck area.
- CT- a test that detects the structural abnormalities, swelling, and any cuts or bruises. Useful in differing strokes from other disorders including primary metastatic tumor and subdural, intracerebral, an epidural hematoma. However if the pt is only having a TIA it will not be picked up on.
- PET- provides information brain activity and difference in blood flow changes, best on identifying ischemic strokes.
- Single-Photon Emission Tomography- identifies brain blood flow to correctly diagnose a cerebral infarction.
- MRI- is specific to determining the location and size of the lesion. Yet it does not distuinguish a brain bleed, tumor, or an infarction as well as a CT does, it has much better imaging of the cerebellum and brainstem.
- Transcranial Doppler- which establishes the speed and volume trough the vessels in side the skull, which guce the diameter of vessel to identify and anomly.
Where the yellow arrow is pointing is where the blockage is.
Digital Subtraction Angiography
The main difference between this and a cerebral angiography is this is showing the brain stem and neck region.
This demonstrates the effects of an ischemic stroke on the brain.
Notice how the right side of the brain is a lot less active than the left.
The white arrows are pointing to lesions on the brain.
"Normal transcranial Doppler. Color Doppler imaging of the left middle cerebral artery demonstrates normal flow and waveforms."
Steps That Might be Taken by Your Physcians for Your Best Interest
The drugs that coutld be implemented-
- Thrombolytic Therapy- which are drugs that would breakdown or destroy clots. The most common is a recombinant tissue plasminogen activator. This drug would be given inside the first 3 hours of an Ischemic stroke inorder to unblock to the clot, restoring blood flow and preventing further brain damage.
- Anticonvulsants- given to prevent siezures
- Stool Softeners- given to relieve some stress intracranialky by avoiding straining during bowel movevements.
- Corticosteroids- which are helpful in minimizing swelling on the brain
- Analgesics- are a drug classification in order to helpful with the headaches which might follow a brainbleed
If the extent of the stroke is to excessive for the medication help, surgery may be used as altenative. Any and all treatment is revoloved around restoring blood flow. Some of the surgies that classify as this would be:
- Craniotomy- to remove a hematoma(tumor of blood)
- Endarterectomy- remove atherosclerotic plaque (hardened gunk inside) from inner artial walls
- Extracranial-Intracranial Bypass- which is a surgery that would reroute the blood flow of the brain avoiding the damaged area
- Ventricular Shunts - are placed to drain any fluid that may be resting on the brain.
How Must a Stroke Occur
-This is a medical condition meaning to clot. It is the most common type of stroke in middle aged and elderly. It is a result from a blockage in any of vessels on or in the brain. Your chances of developing a clot here increase if you have hypertension, if your obese, smoking, use of hormonal contraceptives, and if you undergo surgery.
-The second to most common cause of a stroke. This happens when a buildup of plaque or materials break off from where they were travel in the circulatory system to the brain and cut off the vessel resulting in a stroke. You are more at risk for this occurrence if you have a history of rheumatic heart disease and basically any underlying heart condition. Embolism happen rapidly and with no warning usually within 10-20 seconds and stop in the left middle cerebral artery.
-This is a stroke based on bleeding. If a stroke was a result of energy to the head it would most likely be this one. However it can also arise from an aneurysm or chronic hypertension, which would cause a cerebral artery to rupture. An avid user of cocaine is most likely to suffer from this kind of stroke due to their self inflicting chronic hypertension from their use.