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What is stroke ?
Stroke support site

Sometimes called a cerebrovascular accident (CVA) or “Brain Attack” a stroke is caused by an interruption of the blood supply to part of the brain, due to either occlusion of a blood vessel (ischaemic stroke) or rupture of a blood vessel (haemorrhagic stroke). The interruption in blood flow deprives the brain of nutrients and oxygen, resulting in injury to cells in the affected vascular territory of the brain. Ischaemic strokes are more common than haemorrhagic strokes.

A stroke usually occurs suddenly without any warning.

There are two types of stroke:

  • Ischaemic stroke (most common) caused by a blockage of an artery supplying blood to the brain (cerebral thrombosis) An embolic Stroke occurs when a blood clot forms somewhere in the body (usually the heart or in the blood vessels in the neck) and travels through the blood stream to the brain. A thrombotic Stroke occurs when blood vessels narrow as a result of blood fat, cholesterol or calcium which grows to completely block the blood vessel.

  • Haemorrhagic Stroke caused by a bleed from a burst blood vessel in the brain (cerebral haemorrhage). An intracerebral haemorrhage, which is the more common form, involves bleeding within the brain tissue itself. In a subarachnoid haemorrhage the bleeding occurs in the space around the brain. This is often due to an aneurysm-a thin or weak spot on a blood vessel wall.

TIA (Transient Ischaemic Attack) “Mini –Stroke” happens when for a short period of time, usually for a few minutes less blood than normal gets to the brain. TIAs are caused by small clots. A large clot causes a stroke. TIAs should be treated as a medical emergency and urgent medical attention should be sought.

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