What Is A Stroke?

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A stroke occurs when the brain is said to have stopped functioning. This may be due to a shortage of blood supply to the brain caused by blockage of the artery or when the vessels of blood in the brain rupture depriving the brain cells of oxygen hence the death of the cells.The blockage in the artery may be due to a blood clot, bacteria or even air. Cholsestrol build-up in the general body arteries causes this too since it affects blood circulation to the whole body.

The brain is known to control various functions in the body like speech, motion, sight, reasoning and also reading and writing abilities.The effects of the stroke depend on whch part of the brain was damaged since each brain part is specific to its functions. Learning what the different parts of the brain do can help you understand why strokes can affect people so differently.

Damage to the brain caused by stroke is due to the shortage in supply of nutrients and oxygen.This is because the arteries are responsible for this hence any disruption due to blockage or bursting causes the shortage. Acquired brain injury is caused by injuries to the brain which result in profuse bleeding and eventually permanent brain damage.The risk of permanent damage to the brain is high when the brain goes for long periods of time without the oxygen and necessary nutrients.

The two main types of stroke are ischemic and hemorrhagic.

Ischemic strokes are caused by clots in the blood while hemorrhagic is caused by bleeding in the brain. A transient ischemic attack occurs when clots stop blood supply to the brain for a short time. Pediatric strokes occur in babies.

Ischemic is of two kinds: thrombotic and embolic.Thrombotic occurs when the walls of the arteries become thick or hard due to injury which may cause less nitric oxide to be produced hence hardening.Embolic occurs when clots form in any other part of the body not necessarily the brain.This clot can then gets stuck in the artery to the brain cutting off any supplies to the brain.

There are also two kinds of hemorrhagic stroke: intracerebral and subarachnoid. Intracerebral appears when bleeding occurs in any of the brain parts which may go unnoticed until much later.

Intracerebral appears when bleeding occurs in any of the brain parts which may go unnoticed until much later. Subarachnoid, on the other hand, occurs deep in the brain which may be caused by tumors or infections.

The brain has numerous neurons which are basically special cells.They are responsible for everything we do and say. Neurons have a high dependency on blood vessels for nutrition and supply of oxygen. Neurons — unlike other body cells — cannot repair or duplicate themselves hence when some of them die, it’s difficult for them to duplicate themselves and the result is a reduction in their number.

It is important to note that such an occurrence is a medical emergency and the soonest one gets medical attention the greater their survival chances. Call 911 immediately if you see someone having a stroke.

Sourced from: Heart & Stroke Foundation

Image source: Thinkstock/stockdevil

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