Causes of Stroke

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Information on Causes of Stroke

Stroke, also called a cerebrovascular accident, is a result of an injury to the brain tissue due to disturbed blood flow supply through arteries that transport them to the brain.  Stroke is the most common cause of neurological disability after Alzheimer's disease.  While the possible causes of decreased or obstruction of blood flow to the brain are many, the vast majority of strokes are caused by one of the three events:



This word means a "clot".  In the case of a stroke, presence or formation of a clot (a thrombus) or plug somewhere in the vessels of the neck or brain (cerebral thrombosis).  Atherosclerosis, the villain that causes plugging of arteries supplying blood to the heart and thereby leads to heart attacks, also causes the narrowing that leads to "brain attacks" or strokes.  Many of the same risk factors apply to both brain and heart attacks.



The breakage of a blood vessel in the brain (cerebral hemorrhage) can obviously interrupt blood flow to the part of the brain supplied by that vessel.  Hemorrhagic stroke results when there is an extensive bleeding within the brain, which destroys or compresses and cause direct damage to the brain tissue.  Hupertension (high blood pressure) may cause damage to weakened blood vessels, thus setting the stage for rupture to occur.



An embolus is a travelling clot or air bubble a blood clot, that dislodges from the heart or arteries leading to the head and is carried into the smaller arteries of the brain, where it obstruct the arteries from carrying  blood supply smoothly to the brain.  This can in turn cause a sudden brain tissue death known as cerebral embolism.


Short-lived strokes that occur suddenly in 2 to 30 minutes or sometimes may last up to hours, without causing persistent or permanent damage, called as transient ischemic attacks, can be a warning sign that a more severe stroke is to follow.  We should see this as a serious sign and consult a professional physician for immediate actions and medications to take in order to evaluate them before a more serious stroke condition arises.


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