A stroke is a brain injury caused by a disruption of blood flow to the brain. Without oxygen, brain cells die.

There are two main types of strokes: ischemic and haemorrhagic.

An ischemic stroke occurs when a blood vessel is blocked and stops blood flow to a part of the brain. The brain cells and tissues can die within minutes without oxygen and nutrients.

A haemorrhagic stroke is caused by bleeding on the brain tissue, which may form a clot and stop blood flow Nearly 75% of strokes are associated with high blood pressure (hypertension). Some of the other risk factors include sedentary lifestyle, obesity, poor diet, and smoking. Smokers have up to four times increased risk of stroke. Recent research also shows evidence that people on birth control or receiving hormone replacement therapy have an overall 29 percent increased risk of stroke, in particular an ischemic stroke. If you have high blood pressure, or any of these risk factors, talk to your doctor about creating a plan to reduce your risk of stroke.

Transient ischemic attack (TIA): This occurs when blood flow to a part of the brain is inadequate for a brief period of time. Normal blood flow resumes after a short amount of time, and the symptoms resolve without treatment. Some people call this a ministroke.

The warning signs of a stroke can be remembered with the acronym BEFAST: Imbalance, vision issues, facial drooping, arm weakness, speech difficulty, time to call ambulance. Stroke may occur suddenly and the results can be devastating. It is critical to call an ambulance immediately, so blood flow can be restored to the brain as quickly as possible. Other symptoms of stroke that may occur include severe headache, confusion, dizziness, nausea, loss of balance, numbness, trouble speaking or walking, vision changes, and weakness.

A stroke can happen to anyone, at any time and at any age.

There is one stroke every 40 seconds

There is one death every 4 minute

Learn to recognize a stroke, because in a stroke emergency, time lost is brain lost. For every minute you don’t get help, more brain cells die. High blood pressure is the leading cause of stroke and the most important controllable risk factor for stroke.80% of strokes are preventable.

You can reduce your risk of stroke by addressing these modifiable risk factors.

High blood pressure


Cigarette smoking

High cholesterol


Physically inactive Poor diet.

Know your blood pressure .Check at least annually .If it is high , consult with your doctor to control it. Heart disease and high blood pressure can damage your brain’s health. Get your blood pressure checked regularly. Work with your health care professional to control your blood pressure and protect your brain health. Keep your blood pressure under control for a healthier body and brain. Dementia and stroke are more likely to affect people with high blood pressure. Don’t take unnecessary risks. Keep your blood pressure under control.

Risk factors for heart disease – including diabetes – can negatively affect your brain health. Take care of both your heart and brain. Eat a healthy diet, control your weight, and exercise regularly. Exercise is not only good for your body, it’s also good for your brain. Get regular exercise that makes your heart beat faster, which increases blood flow to the brain and body. Physical activity can help build your brain health by lowering risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol. It’s never too late to start exercising for better health for your brain and body.


Stroke begins rapidly. For the best outcome, a person should receive treatment at a hospital within 3 hours of their symptoms first appearing.

There are several different diagnostics tests a doctor can use to determine the type of stroke. These include:

  • Physical examination: A doctor will ask about the person’s symptoms and medical history. They will check muscle strength, reflexes, sensation, vision, and coordination. They may also check blood pressure, listen to the carotid arteries in the neck, and examine the blood vessels at the back of the eyes.
  • Blood tests: A doctor may perform blood tests to determine if there is a high risk of bleeding or blood clots, measuring levels of particular substances in the blood, including clotting factors, and checking whether or not an infection is present.
  • CT scan: A series of X-rays can show haemorrhages, strokes, tumours, and other conditions within the brain.
  • MRI scan: These use radio waves and magnets to create an image of the brain, which a doctor can use to detect damaged brain tissue.
  • Carotid ultrasound: A doctor may carry out an ultrasound scan to check blood flow in the carotid arteries and to see if there is any narrowing or plaque present.
  • Cerebral angiogram: A doctor may inject a dye into the brain’s blood vessels to make them visible under X-ray or MRI. This provides a detailed view of the blood vessels in the brain and neck.
  • Echocardiogram: This creates a detailed image of the heart, which doctors can use to check for any sources of clots that could have traveled to the brain.

It is only possible to confirm the type of stroke using a brain scan in a hospital environment.


An ischemic stroke is treated by removing the blockage from the blood vessel and restoring blood flow. A drug called tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) has a high success rate if it is administered within a four and half hour window from the onset of symptoms. There are also surgical options; your neurosurgeon will recommend the best form of treatment depending on your health and your needs. A hemorrhagic stroke usually requires surgery to relieve pressure within the skull caused by bleeding.

What is stroke rehabilitation?

The purpose of rehabilitation is to return the stroke patient to the life and level of function that existed before the stroke. The success of that goal depends upon the underlying health of the patient and severity of the stroke.

Rehabilitation may take weeks or months and usually requires a team approach for success. Physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech pathologists will coordinate care with the primary doctor and physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists.

Some of the treatments are directed to prevent life-threatening complications. For example, speech pathologists may help with swallowing to prevent aspiration pneumonia. Physical therapists may concentrate on strength and balance to prevent falls. Occupational therapists may find ways to allow the patient to perform daily activities from personal hygiene to cooking in the kitchen.

Many patients with significant stroke deficits may require admission to a rehabilitation hospital and/or longer term nursing facility prior to returning home. Unfortunately, some patients will have had too severe a stroke to be offered that opportunity.

A stroke is a brain injury caused by a disruption of blood flow to the brain

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