Friday, October 3, 2008

Stroke (Cerebrovascular Accident)

Stroke is the loss of brain functions due to a hindrance to the normal blood flow in the brain. As they do not receive oxygen-rich blood, the nerve cells in the affected area of the brain begin to die within minutes after the blood has stopped circulating.

There are two kinds of stroke. One kind of stroke is caused by a blood clot which plugs a blood vessel in the brain; this stroke is often referred to as thrombosis. The other kind of stroke is caused by a cerebral hemorrhage due to a blood vessel rupture; this happens when the blood pressure rises to very high levels to a point where a blood vessel can no longer withstand the inner pressure, bursting and bleeding, thus interrupting the normal blood supply to the neurons.

Stroke can cause serious neurological damage, rendering the affected person unable to move one or both limbs on one side of the body, and also leading to inability to understand and produce speech. Depending on the area of the brain where the blood flow stops, a stroke can sometimes cause death, especially when there is a massive brain hemorrhage.

Also called cerebrovascular accident, or ictus, stroke symptons arise suddenly and they are weakness of the face, arm drift, abnormal speech, confusion, trouble seeing in one or both eyes, trouble walking, loss of balance, dizziness, headache. When this happens people should immediately called for assistance.