A stroke occurs when the blood flow to the brain becomes blocked. When blood cannot flow into the brain, the brain cells begin to die. Damage to any part of the brain can result in loss of function, such as loss of speech or arm or leg movement. The type of loss depends on the severity of the stroke and the part of the brain that was damaged.
The major types of stroke are:
Ischemic strokes account for 80 to 90 percent of all strokes. An ischemic stroke occurs when fatty deposits (plaque) cause a blood vessel in or leading to the brain to become narrowed. A blood clot forms at the site of this narrowing. A blood clot may also form in another part of the body and then travel to the brain where it lodges in a blood vessel.
Approximately 10 to 20 percent of all strokes are hemorrhagic. This occurs when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures and bleeds. Causes for this type of stroke include high blood pressure or a weakened blood vessel (aneurysm).
Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)
A transient ischemic attack (TIA) is a mini-stroke that has the same symptoms of a stroke but does not cause any permanent damage. However, even if the numbness, confusion, slurred speech or sudden headache are fleeting, that doesn’t mean you should ignore it. Those could be the warning signs of stroke. Approximately one-third of people who have had one or more TIAs eventually have a stroke. Learn more...