Stroke is a defined as rapid developing loss of brain functions due to disturbance of blood supply to brain. It also referred as Cerebrovascular accident or CVA. It occurs when a blood vessel in the brain is blocked. This can be due to ischemia caused by thrombosis or due to hemorrhage. It results in difficulty to move one or more limbs on one side of the body, inability to understand or formulate speech. It is a medical emergency and also causes permanent neurological damage.
Stroke is seen in both men and women but in men it is common over ages 60 and in women at younger ages. It is estimated that 15 million people suffer from stroke worldwide each year.
Classification: Stroke can be classified into two major categories
Ischemic stroke - it is the most common type of stroke. In this blood supply to brain is decreased and it leads to dysfunction of brain tissue in that area. It may be due to thrombosis (obstruction of blood vessel), embolism, general decrease of blood supply. About 80% of strokes are ischemic. In simple it is said as too little blood in the brain. Types of ischemic stroke are:
• Thrombotic stroke - it occurs when damaged or diseased cerebral arteries become blocked as a result of blood clot and this condition is called as cerebral thrombosis. This is responsible for almost 50% of the strokes.
• Embolic Stroke - it occurs when a clot forms in a part of body other than brain, it then travels through blood vessel and becomes wedged in brain artery. This type occurs in heart and the clot is called as embolus so the stroke is known as embolic stroke.
Hemorrhagic Stroke - it occurs when a blood vessel in brain ruptures and bleeds into surrounding tissue. About 20% of strokes are of this type. In simple it is said as too much blood within the skull. Depending upon the destination of bleeding from ruptured brain arteries it is of following types:
• Intracerebral Hemorrhage - it occurs when a vessel within the brain leaks blood into brain.
• Subarachanoid Hemorrhage - it occurs when a blood from under meninges, outer membrane of brain bleeds into thin fluid-filled space that surrounds the brain.
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