Causes, Symptoms and Treatment of Stroke

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Published on Mar 27, 2020




What is a cerebrovascular accident?

Cerebrovascular accident (CVA) commonly referred to as stroke occurs when blood flow to a section of your brain is stopped either by a blockage or the rupture of a blood vessel. There are important signs of a stroke that you have to be careful of and watch out for.

Endeavour to seek medical attention immediately that you or anybody round you might be having a stroke. The more quickly you get treatment, the better the prognosis, as a stroke left untreated for too long can result in permanent brain damage.


Types of cerebrovascular accident


There are two major types of cerebrovascular accident, or stroke: an ischemic stroke is caused by a blockage while a hemorrhagic stroke is as a result of the rupture of a blood vessel. Both types of stroke deprive part of the brain of blood and oxygen, leading to brain cells death.


Ischemic stroke


An ischemic stroke is most common and happens when a blood clot blocks a blood vessel and stops blood and oxygen from reaching to a part of the brain. There are two ways this can occur. One is an embolic stroke, which takes place when a clot forms somewhere else in your body and gets lodged in a blood vessel in the brain. The other way is a thrombotic stroke, which happens when the clot forms in a blood vessel inside the brain.


Hemorrhagic stroke


A hemorrhagic stroke happens when a blood vessel ruptures, or hemorrhages, and then prevents blood from getting to a part of the brain. The hemorrhage can occur in any blood vessel in the brain, or it might also occur in the membrane surrounding the brain.


Symptoms of a cerebrovascular accident

The quicker you can get a diagnosis and medication for a stroke, the better your prognosis will be. For this reason, it’s vital to recognize and understand the symptoms of a stroke.

Stroke symptoms include:

difficulty walking


loss of stability and coordination

trouble with speaking or understanding others who are speaking

numbness or paralysis in the face, leg, or arm, most likely on only one side of the body

blurred or darkened vision

an unexpected headache, especially when accompanied with nausea, vomiting, or dizziness

The symptoms of a stroke can fluctuate depending on the person and where in the brain it has happened. Symptoms usually show up suddenly, even if they’re not very severe, and they can become worse with time.

Remembering the acronym “FAST” helps individuals recognize the most regular symptoms of stroke:

Face: Does one side of the face droop?

Arm: If an individual holds each arm out, does one drift downward?

Speech: Is their speech odd or slurred?

Time: It’s time to call emergency number and get to the hospital if any of these signs are present.


Diagnosis of a cerebrovascular accident


Healthcare providers have a variety of tools to determine if you’ve had a stroke. Your healthcare provider will administer a full physical examination, where they’ll check your strength, reflexes, vision, speech, and senses. They’ll also check for a specific sound in the blood vessels of your neck. This sound, which is known as bruit, shows abnormal blood flow. Finally, your blood pressure will be checked, which may be high if you’ve had a stroke.

Your doctor may also carry out diagnostic tests to find out the cause of the stroke and pinpoint its location. These assessments may also include one or more of the following:

Blood Tests: Your doctor may want to test your blood for clotting time, blood sugar levels, or infection. These can all affect the possibility and progression of a stroke.

Angiogram: An angiogram, that involves adding a dye to your blood and taking an X-ray of your head, can help your doctor discover the blocked or hemorrhaged blood vessel.

Carotid Ultrasound: This test makes use of sound waves to create images of the blood vessels in your neck. This test can help your doctor determine if there’s unusual blood flow toward your brain.

CT Scan: A CT scan is often performed immediately after symptoms of a stroke develop. The test can assist your provider find problem areas and other problems that may be associated with stroke.

MRI Scan: An MRI can provide a more indepth picture of the brain compared to CT scan. It’s extra sensitive than a CT scan in being able to detect a stroke.

Echocardiogram: This imaging approach uses sound waves to create a picture of your heart. It can assist your provider find the source of blood clots.

Electrocardiogram (EKG): This is an electrical tracing of the heart. This will assist your healthcare provider determine if an abnormal heart rhythm is the reason of a stroke.


Treatment for a cerebrovascular accident


Treatment for stroke relies on the type of stroke you’ve had. The purpose of treatment for ischemic stroke, for instance, is to fix the blood flow. Treatments for hemorrhagic stroke are targeted at controlling the bleeding.


Ischemic stroke treatment


To treat an ischemic stroke, you would be given a clot-dissolving drug or a blood thinner. You may also be given aspirin to prevent another stroke. Emergency medication for this type of stroke may include injecting medicine into the brain or getting rid of a blockage with a procedure.


Hemorrhagic stroke treatment


For a hemorrhagic stroke, you may be given a drug that reduces pressure in your brain caused by the bleeding. If the bleeding is severe, you might also need surgical treatment to cast off extra blood. There’s also a possibility that you will need surgery to restore the ruptured blood vessel.


Prevention of a cerebrovascular accident


There are lots of risk factor for having a stroke, which includes diabetes, atrial fibrillation, and hypertension (high blood pressure).

Correspondingly, there are many measures that can assist in preventing stroke. Preventive measures for stroke are close to the actions that you would take to assist prevent heart disease.

Here are a few approaches to lower your risk:

Maintain normal blood pressure.

Reduce saturated fats and cholesterol intake.

Refrain from smoking, and drink alcohol in proportion.

manage diabetes.

Maintain a moderate weight.

Get frequent exercise.

Eat more of vegetables and fruits.

Your healthcare provider may prescribe drugs for preventing stroke if they know you’re at risk. Possible preventive treatment for stroke includes drugs that thin the blood and stop clot formation.

DisclaimerThe information provided herein is for patient general knowledge only and should not be used during any medical emergency, for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Duplication for personal and commercial use must be authorized in writing by

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