Stroke

Dani Stolze

What is a Stroke?

A stroke happens when a blood clot blocks an artery or a blood vessel breaks interrupting blood flow to the Brain. This causes brain cells to die because of the lack of oxygen to the brain and permanent damage to occur.

Causes

There are two kinds of strokes; ischemic and hemorrhage. Ischemic strokes are caused by blood clots that block blood flow to the brain, these are often caused by an abnormal heartbeat called atrial fibrillation. The other kind of stroke, hemorrhage, is caused most commonly by high blood pressure. This increases the pressure on the brain and causes small arteries to burst. Hemorrhage strokes can also be caused by a head injury, or aneurysms, which are blood filled pouches that go through weak spots in the wall of the artery.
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Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States, it kills 130,000 Americans every year.

Statistics

  • Stroke accounts for one in every eighteen deaths
  • 3 quarters of all strokes occur in people over the age of 65
  • Someone in America has a stroke every 40 seconds
  • The risk of stroke in smokers in almost double that of a normal person
  • Stroke is the leading cause of long term disability in the U.S.
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Symptoms

Some symptoms include:


  • sudden weakness or numbness in face, arm, or leg on one side of the body
  • sudden loss of vision, strength, coordination, sensation, or speech
  • abrupt loss of balance
  • vomiting, nausea, fever, hiccups, trouble swallowing
  • unexplained fainting or dizziness
  • brief loss of consciousness


Prevention

There are quite a few things you can do to lower your risk of stroke. They include:

  • knowing your blood pressure
  • identifying atrial fibrillation
  • don't smoke
  • avoid alcohol
  • eat healthy and exercise
  • treat circulation problems

Treatment

Thrombolytics are medicines that re-establish blood flow to the brain and break up the clot.


tPA is a enzyme found in your blood that can be converted into another enzyme that can dissolve a blood clot.


Penumbra System helps restore blood flow to the brain by using a suction to grab blood clots in the brain. However this is a very revolutionary operation and is used only for ischemic strokes.

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Important Vocab

Stroke - A stroke is a sudden disruption of blood flow to part of the brain.

Cerebral Hemorrhage - When a weakened artery in the cerebrum bursts and floods the area with blood.

Aneurysm - An aneurysm is a blood filled weak spot that balloons out from the artery wall.