Symptoms, Treatment, and Long-Term Outlook

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A stroke occurs when the flow of blood to part of the brain is cut off or significantly reduced. Without the oxygen carried by the blood, brain cells can die quickly, which can cause permanent brain damage. Strokes can be major or minor and the consequences can range from complete recovery to fatality.

There are two types of strokes: ischemic and hemorrhagic. An ischemic stroke is caused by lack of blood flow to brain tissue. This can happen when the arteries in the brain narrow due to a condition such as atherosclerosis. A blood clot can form in the narrow arteries and block blood flow. This is called a thrombosis. Another cause of ischemic strokes is an embolism. This occurs when a blood clot forms somewhere in the body and then travels to the brain and blocks blood flow.

About 13 percent of strokes are hemorrhagic. These are strokes that are caused by a rupture in a blood vessel in the brain. The majority of strokes are ischemic.

A hemorrhagic stroke is also called an intracerebral hemorrhage, or an ICH. An ICH occurs when a blood vessel ruptures and blood accumulates in the tissue around the rupture. This puts pressure on the brain and causes a loss of blood to the surrounding areas.

Immediate medical treatment is important for the best odds of recovery. Prevention is also important. If you control your risk factors, you can greatly reduce your odds of having any type of stroke.

A hemorrhagic stroke that occurs inside your brain is also called an intracerebral hemorrhage. Symptoms of an ICH can vary from person to person, but they’re almost always present immediately after the stroke occurs.

Symptoms may include:

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