Tuesday, September 4, 2012

What is a stroke

What is a Stroke?

A stroke, or cerebrovascular accident (CVA), occurs when blood supply to part of the brain is disrupted, causing brain cells to die. When blood flow to the brain is interrupted or blocked, oxygen and glucose can not be delivered to the brain. Blood flow can be compromised by a variety of mechanisms.

Barriers / obstacles of an artery

The narrowing of the small arteries within the brain can cause a lacunar stroke called, (lacune = empty space). Barriers / obstacles of a single arteriole can affect a tiny area of ​​brain causing that tissue to die (infarct).

Hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) leading to the brain. There are four major blood vessels that supply the brain with blood. The anterior circulation of the brain that controls most motor activity, sensation, thought, speech, and emotion is supplied by the carotid arteries. Posterior circulation, which supplies the brain (brainstem) and the cerebellum, which controls the automatic parts of brain function and coordination, is supplied by the vertebrobasilar arteries.If these arteries become narrow as a result of atherosclerosis, plaque or cholesterol, debris (debris) can come loose and float downstream, clogging the blood supply to a part of the brain. Contrary to lacunar strokes, the portions were bigger than the brain can lose blood supply, and this may produce more symptoms than a lacunar stroke.

Embolism to the brain from the heart. In situations where blood clots form in the heart, there is the potential for small clots broke off and running (embolize) to the arteries in the brain and cause a stroke.

Rupture of an artery (hemorrhage) 

Cerebral hemorrhage (bleeding within the brain substance). The most common cause of bleeding in the brain gain is high blood pressure that is not controlled. Other situations include aneurysms that leak or rupture or arteriovenous malformations (AVM) in which there is an abnormal collection of blood vessels are fragile and can bleed.
 Although stroke is often viewed as a disease of the elderly, it sometimes affects younger individuals. The incidence of stroke does increase with age, but nearly a quarter of all strokes occur in people under the age of 60.

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