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What Happens During A Stroke?

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By Apollo 24|7, Published on- 28 November 2022, Updated on - 24 January 2023

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When a blood vessel in the brain bursts or the blood supply to the brain is suddenly cut off, it leads to a stroke. In such an episode, the individual fails to communicate, has blindness in one eye, and is unable to maintain balance. Consequently, prompt action is required to prevent permanent brain injury and re-establish blood flow to the brain.

In this article, we will discuss stroke and its deadly impact on the brain, as well as some risk factors associated with it.

Impact of Stroke In The Brain

The brain is the central processing unit (CPU) of the body, responsible for a wide variety of functions including, but not limited to, transmitting signals to other organs, storing memories, processing thoughts, and allowing us to communicate in various languages. Similar to how a computer's central processing unit (CPU) requires power, our brain needs oxygen, which is carried to it through the blood vessels.

Let’s say the CPU's connection wire is cut off; the computer won't function, right? Likewise, if anything were to interrupt blood circulation, the brain would quickly become oxygen-starved, leading to a state of chaos known as a stroke.

Different Types of Stroke

The root cause of stroke can vary basis the underlying general health condition of the individual. While broadly stroke can be grouped under three categories, each type has its own severity and complications.

1. Ischemic Stroke

Ischemic stroke happens when plaque/clot lodges in a blood vessel of the brain and prevent blood flow. It typically affects the carotid artery in the neck.

Medical Complications

Ischemic strokes are linked to a higher risk of health problems like severe hypertension, pneumonia, cerebral infarction (which kills parts of the brain), and some kind of disability. 

2. Hemorrhagic Stroke

When a blood artery in the brain bursts, it causes a hemorrhagic stroke. Both ICH (intracerebral hemorrhage) and SAH (subarachnoid hemorrhage) are subtypes of hemorrhagic stroke (SAH). Both ICH and SAH cause bleeding, but ICH causes bleeding into the brain parenchyma, which contains collagen protein. On the other hand, SAH causes bleeding into the subarachnoid space, which contains the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and major blood vessels.

Medical Complications

Intracerebral hemorrhage is characterised by damage or trauma to the brain parenchyma, which typically results in a decline in mental capacity (cognitive ability) or even death. Furthermore, with subarachnoid hemorrhage, the pressure on the brain is exacerbated because blood collects in the space between the brain and the skull. Due to this, seizures and brain swelling are also possible outcomes of this type of stroke.

3. Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)

A transient ischemic attack (TIA) is an episode of stroke-like symptoms that lasts less than 24 hours. A transient ischemic attack (TIA) often only lasts a few minutes and does not lead to any long-term consequences. A transient ischemic attack (also known as a "ministroke") can serve as a warning.

Signs And Symptoms Of Stroke

Being aware of the signs of stroke can help you help someone you care about. Learning and spreading the F.A.S.T. warning signs of stroke aids in immediate recognition of the condition. Prompt action can save one life as every second matters!

  • F.A.S.T. (Face drooping, arm weakness, speech difficulty, and time to call paramedics)
  • Numbness in the face
  • Sudden confusion
  • Trouble walking
  • Severe headache

In the event that you witness someone having a stroke, you need to respond quickly to prevent permanent brain damage.

  1. Get help from the paramedics; they can deal with it more effectively than you can.
  2. Encourage the patient to lie down so that the blood can circulate more freely.
  3. In the event of cardiac arrest, initiate cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
  4. Do not give the patient any medications, food, or drink to prevent choking.

Predisposing Risk Factors Associated With Stroke

Apart from debilitating medical conditions like high cholesterol, heart disease, and obstructive sleep disorders, other factors that increase the chances of stroke are

  • Obesity
  • Inactivity and sedentary lifestyle
  • Alcohol indulgence
  • Older age group (above 55 years)
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking

Final Note

The chances of avoiding a stroke can be lowered by raising awareness, managing pre-existing medical issues, and adopting a healthy lifestyle. Taking preventative measures is way more practical than managing the disaster,

  • Get at least 30 minutes of exercise daily.
  • Fill your plate with healthy foods like fresh produce, whole grains, and lean meats.
  • Avoid using tobacco products and limit your alcohol intake.
  • Work with your doctors to take care of your diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol to get your numbers down to healthy levels.

Although these measures won't eliminate your risk entirely, they will significantly lessen it. 

Consult a neurologist when in doubt.

Consult The Best Neurologist

 

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Dhanunjay Reddy B

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