Stroke (Cerebrovascular attack)

 

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Stroke, or also known as cerebrovascular attack, or simply put ‘brain attack’, is the loss of brain function due to a disturbance in the blood supply to an area of the brain. When this happens, brain cells are deprived of oxygen and begin to die. It leads to the loss in memory and muscle control, making it one of the leading causes of serious long-term disability.

There are 3 types of strokes:

  1. Ischemic stroke – In this type, a blood vessel carrying blood to the brain is blocked by a blood clot (ischemic). The blood supply to the brain decreases, leading to dysfunction of the brain tissue in that area.

This could be caused by 4 factors:

  • Thrombosis – It is the obstruction of a blood vessel by a blood clot forming locally.
  • Embolism – Obstruction caused due to an embolus (particles such as clotted blood cells that move about in our blood vessels)
  • Systemic hypoperfusion – General decrease in blood supply usually occurring while in shock etc.
  • Venous thrombosis – It is blood clot that forms within a vein, disrupting the blood flow.
  1. Hemorrhagic stroke – A brain aneurysm (a bulging, weak area in the wall of an artery that supplies blood to the brain) burst or a weakened blood vessel leak (hemorrhagic) is another cause of blood flow disruption in the brain. It is the lesser common of these main two types.
  2. Transient ischemic attack (TIA) – TIAs are different from the other types of stroke because the flow of blood to the brain is only briefly interrupted. TIAs are similar to ischemic strokes in that they are often caused by blood clots or other debris.

Risk Factors

The factors that increase the risk of having stroke attacks are:

  • Being overweight
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Smoking

Lifestyle to prevent risk of stroke

  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Get enough exercise
  • Control blood pressure
  • Manage diabetes
  • Quit smoking

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