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What is a Stroke?

A stroke happens when blood supply to the brain is reduced or stopped, preventing oxygen from reaching it. It can also be caused by bleeding in the brain. This interruption causes brain cells of the affected part of the brain to die, damaging the brain and causing issues with walking and speaking, as well as obvious signs like face drooping where one side of the face droops, slurred speech, and inability to raise the arms. Early action is crucial in reducing brain damage and other complications.

What are the types of Stroke?

Ischemic stroke 

This form of stroke is caused by a blood clot that blocks the vessels in the brain, preventing enough blood supply to bring oxygen that is needed. The most common cause of ischemic stroke is related to arteriosclerosis, a build-up of plaque that contains fat deposits, cholesterol and cells that line the walls of the blood vessels. Plaque buildup is caused by various reasons including high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. Ischemic strokes can also be caused by small blood clots that travel through the bloodstream and clog the arteries.

Hemorrhagic stroke

This stroke occurs when the blood vessels become brittle and weak and burst, causing blood to leak into the brain. Blood ln the brain causes a build-up of pressure within the brain and under the skull, causing a pounding feeling in the head or chest, and a feeling of lightheadedness. Hemorrhagic strokes are more serious than ischemic ones as they are potentially fatal and lead to more severe damage. 

What are the symptoms of Stroke?

  • Loss of conciousness
  • Sudden loss of vision, coordination and the ability to understand speech
  • Sudden numbness in the face, arm, or leg on one side of the body
  • Sudden loss of balance, nausea and vomiting

How are Strokes diagnosed?

Blood Test
A complete blood count blood test will be done to check the sugar level in your blood, how fast it takes to clot, platelet levels as well as increased white blood cells that signal a possible infection.

Imaging Tests
Imaging tests are done with MRI or CT scan to check for bleeding or damage in the brain, as well as any brain abnormalities. A carotid ultrasound may also be done to detect fatty deposits called plaque in the carotid arteries in your neck. 

Physical Test
You will have your heart examined and will have your blood pressure checked as well. 

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