Causes of Ischemic Stroke, Hemorrhagic Stroke and Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)
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Causes of Ischemic Stroke, Hemorrhagic Stroke and Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)

Different types of strokes and their causes

The results of a stroke is damage to the blood vessels in the brain due to insufficient blood flow. There are two major types of strokes, with subdivisions as well.

Ischemic stroke

  • An ischemic stroke happens when the blood vessels to the brain are blocked or restricted resulting in ischemia which is reduced blood flow. This condition is very serious; brain cells need the oxygen and nutrients found in the blood. If the blood supply does not reach the brain in the required amounts, the brain cells starve and then die. The ischemic stroke is the most common form of stroke and accounts for 90 percent of all stroke cases.

The two most common forms of ischemic stroke:

Thrombotic stroke

  • Thrombotic stroke happens because a blood clot know as a thrombus forms a blood vessel (artery) that feeds the brain. Atherosclerosis is a major culprit for a thrombotic stroke. Atherosclerosis causes damage to the blood vessels because of fatty deposit buildup called plaque that obstruct the normal blood flow and causes clotting. The fatty plaque buildup often occurs in the carotid arteries in the neck and can happen elsewhere as well.

Embolic stroke

  • An embolic stroke occurs when the blood vessel flowing away from the brain becomes clotted, or restricted. It is the direction of blood flow which determines if the stroke is the thrombotic or embolic kind. This happens when the blood tries to flow through narrower or restricted arteries, which are often flowing to the heart. The blood clot itself is called an embolus. The embolus is usually brought on by irregular heartbeats (atrial fibrillation) in the two upper chambers of the heart. This irregular heart rhythm leads to pooling of the blood within the vessels of the heart and other places in the body.

Hemorrhagic stroke

Hemorrhagic strokes are caused by bleeding and occurs when blood vessels leak or rupture. The leaks and ruptures can occur for several reasons including high blood pressure, and weakening of the blood vessel walls (aneurysms). Or a hemorrhagic stroke is caused by an arteriovenous malformation (AVM),which is an abnormal tangle of thin-walled blood vessels present at birth.

There are two types of hemorrhagic strokes

Intracerebral hemorrhage

  • A blood vessel will burst in the brain and spill into the surrounding brain tissue to cause an intracerebral hemorrhage. The brain cells beyond the leakage will also damage. Hypertension is the cause of this type of hemorrhagic stroke. With time high pressure causes the small blood vessels to become brittle, crack, and rupture inside the brain.

Subarachnoid hemorrhage

  • A subarachnoid hemorrhage happens when bleeding in the artery occurs close the top of the brain and the blood flows out of the artery into the spaces between the skull and surface of the brain. Sufferers will experience a sudden excruciating headache known as a “thunderclap.” The subarachoid hemorrhage usually is the result of an aneurysm which can be present at birth or brought on with age and lifestyle. After the hemorrhage, the blood vessels can vasospasm meaning they will continue to contract and restrict repeatedly causes even more vessel damage by limiting blood flow.

Transient ischemic attack (TIA)

A transient ischemic attack (TIA) is often called a ministroke and mimics the symptoms of stroke. The transient ischemic attack (TIA) The cause of this kind of stroke is a temporary restriction of the blood supply to part of the brain. The symptoms only last for about five minutes.

If you should have a transient ischemic attack, see your doctor immediately. Do not forgot about it just because the symptoms have gone away. This type of attack means there may be a blocked artery in the brain that needs attention before a full stroke occurs. It is not possible to diagnose a stroke or ministroke after the symptoms have disappeared. The doctor needs to assess the situation immediately to have a clearer picture of what is going on.


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Comments (1)

Thanks, good info.