Types of Stroke and Treatment

Dec 12, 2022 | Types of Stroke

A stroke is a medical term for a blood vessel in the brain bursting and bleeding or when a part of the brain is deprived of blood supply and, by extension, oxygen and vital nutrients. Blood and oxygen are rendered unable to reach the brain because of the rupture or obstruction, which results in damage to brain cells and tissue, and they begin to die within mere moments of such oxygen deprivation.

According to credible research by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), stroke is a leading cause of death in the United States, and it has been statistically proven that Americans, upwards of 795,000 in numbers, experience a stroke each year, and every six deaths from cardiovascular disease, one patient dies from a stroke [1].

Pay close note to the moment the symptoms first appear if you have reason to believe that you or anyone close to you is having a stroke. Some therapy options are very successful if administered immediately after a stroke materializes or sets.

Four Different Types of Stroke

Types of brain strokes can be classified into four. They are:

  1. Ischemic Stroke:

Ischemic stroke is caused by a patient’s blood vessel getting clogged, typically by a clot, which makes it unable to carry oxygen and nutrition to the person’s brain.

  1. Hemorrhagic Stroke:

When a rupture of blood vessels or bleeding in the brain results in a stroke, it is medically termed a Hemorrhagic stroke.

  1. Brain Stem Stroke:

A brain stem stroke occurs when blood flow to the base of a patient’s brain is obstructed, restricted, or stopped, resulting in difficulties and abnormalities in breathing, heart rate, or blood pressure.

  1. Cryptogenic Stroke:

When the cause of a patient’s stroke is unknown or undiscoverable, the stroke is referred to as a Cryptogenic stroke.

Stroke Symptoms and Signs Include:

  1. Difficulty or inability with basic speech and understanding: Patients may become unable to speak and understand normal speech. Another significant symptom is slurred speech paired with confusion.
  2. Paralysis: A patient may experience numbness or paralysis of their arm, leg, or face. Typically, a stroke causes said impact on just one side of the body. To check if you have a stroke, you can attempt to lift your arms above your head. If one arm starts to fall beyond your control, it may be symptomatic of a stroke. Another check for stroke is feeling one side of your mouth drooping involuntarily when you attempt to smile.
  3. Vision issues in one or both eyes: One or both of your eyes may suddenly become blurry or black, or you may experience double vision.

Two Most Common Types of Brain Stroke

Their cause differentiates 2 types of stroke: If the stroke is caused by an artery experiencing a blockage that prevents blood from reaching and delivering vital components like oxygen and nutrients to the brain, it is termed an Ischemic Stroke. If the stroke results from leakage or a blood vessel burst, it is called a hemorrhagic stroke.

Ischemic Stroke

When a patient’s blood vessel, which supplies the brain with blood, nutrients, and vital oxygen, gets “clogged,” it prevents blood flow to a portion of the brain, resulting in an ischemic stroke. This type is medically termed an Ischemic Stroke. Oxygen and nutrient deprivation causes the brain’s cells and tissues to deteriorate and die within minutes.

Ischemic Strokes constitute 87% of all stroke cases [2].

The exact location of the impacted brain determines the specific symptoms of an ischemic stroke. Most ischemic strokes share a few symptoms in common, including:

  • Vision issues include one-eye blindness or double vision
  • Depending on the afflicted artery, weakness or paralysis in your limbs, one or both sides.
  • Disorientation and vertigo.
  • Confusion
  • Inability to coordinate
  • One side of the face is sagging.

Hemorrhagic Stroke

A hemorrhagic stroke is a medical term for a burst or leakage of a person’s blood vessel in the brain, causing a stroke. There are a vast number of disorders that damage the body’s blood vessels and result in brain haemorrhages. Hemorrhagic stroke includes risk factors such as:

  • Continually high blood pressure
  • Need for high use of blood thinners (anticoagulants)
  • Bulges around blood vessel walls’ most vulnerable areas (aneurysms)
  • Trauma (such as a vehicle accident)
  • Blood artery walls become weakened as a result of protein buildup (cerebral amyloid angiopathy)
  • Haemorrhage following an ischemic stroke

There are typically two types of hemorrhagic strokes, depending upon the locality of the bleed or leak. They are:

  1. A stroke is termed a subarachnoid haemorrhage if a blood vessel leaks or ruptures in the area between a person’s brain and skull.
  2. If the burst or bleed is located in a person’s brain, the stroke caused is called an Intracerebral haemorrhage.

The consequences of hemorrhagic stroke continually increase in intensity with the progress of the stroke. With an understanding of the typical rapid expansion of haemorrhage, which has unexpected dire consequences, early diagnosis and treatment become crucial.

The Most Common Type of Stroke

The most common type of stroke observed across all demographics is Ischemic stroke. Ischemic strokes are further classified into three main categories or types.

The following are the types of ischemic stroke:

Thrombotic Stroke

An ischemic stroke can also be thrombotic, indicating that damage occurs to a portion of the brain due to diminished or stopped blood flow in the artery that typically nourishes it. A thrombus (blood clot) that forms in the artery during a thrombotic stroke blocks the artery. Plaque, a hardened accumulation of cholesterol and other chemicals, makes up the thrombus.

Atherosclerosis is the name of the condition producing the accumulation. Your body responds by sending clotting components to produce a blood clot because it perceives this buildup as an injury. The clot eventually stops the artery when it is large enough.

Embolic Stroke – The most severe form of stroke

When a blood clot that originated elsewhere in the body breaks free, gains entry into the bloodstream, and reaches the brain, it causes an embolic stroke. A stroke is brought on when a blood clot obstructs an artery and lodges there.

It can be possible for a blood clot to form in any part of our bodies, finally resulting in an embolic stroke. They typically originate from the upper chest and neck arteries or the heart. The clot leaves its original location and moves through the blood to the brain. The clot gets stuck in place when it enters a blood vessel and cannot pass through because the blood vessel is too small, which prevents the brain from getting vital blood content.

Transient Ischemic Attack

A Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA), or a mini-stroke, is another type of ischemic stroke, which is a short-lived or temporary obstruction in the blood that supplies vital components to your brain. The symptoms typically disappear within a few minutes or 24 hours. The causes, symptoms, and consequences of TIA are similar to Ischemic attacks or strokes.

A TIA may occasionally serve as a precursor to an impending ischemic stroke.

Watch Out for The Signs in Time

Strokes are a leading cause of death and disability across the globe. They render a person unable to function, often resulting in severe paralysis. Recovery is a challenge that requires extensive physiotherapy and rehabilitation, and the process is very time-consuming and demands apt scheduling and attending appointments.

Consult your doctor to know more about the different types of strokes and how to care for yourselves.

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