A detailed stroke overviewA stroke is generally an injury to the brain which results from interruption of blood supply to the brain.There are many different reasons that could disrupt the supply of blood to this vital organ and stroke is classified into three groups depending on their causes. The first category is hemorrhagic stroke which is caused by bleeding within the brain, the skull or in-between the brain. The second form is the thrombotic stroke whereby the blood clot is formed inside the brain’s arteries and blocks the flow of blood. This majorly results from atherosclerosis which causes narrowing of arteries supplying the brain with blood. About half of the stroke cases diagnosed is thrombotic. The last category is embolic stroke in which case debris or a blood clot travels into the brain and ends up blocking an artery.

Signs and symptoms of stroke

The different parts of the brain play various functions including sensation, sight, movement, balance, coordination and sight. Ideally symptoms of stroke are greatly varied and it all depends on the part of the brain that is damaged. Typical symptoms can however include headache, confusion or dizziness, paralysis or weakness of one of the body sides, sudden/ severe numbness at certain body parts, walking difficulty including veering or staggering, visual disturbance including a sudden vision loss, coordination issues in the hands and arms, inability to speak or slurred speech, eyes deviating to one direction, irregular breathing, seizures, coma and stupor. If any of these symptoms or a number of them appears suddenly, you should be warned that stroke could be in progress.

Risk factors and diagnosis of stroke

During diagnosis, the doctor will take a review of your medical history as well as analyzing the various risk factors of the condition like smoking, high blood pressure, heart diseases, diabetes and a history of stroke in the family. Some imaging brain tests could also be carried out as a way of diagnosing and classifying your stroke like the computed tomography scan and MRI scan.

Stroke prevention measures

Controlling the various risk factors mentioned here above is a vital step towards stroke prevention. Stroke can as well be prevented by taking an aspirin daily or maintaining a healthy lifestyle. There are also medications that help prevent stroke especially those that help in treating high blood pressure like thiazide diuretics and ACE inhibitors. You should take a health diet, especially one that is rich in vegetables and fruits, low in cholesterol, fats and trans-fats, avoid taking alcohol excessively and eat fish servings regularly.

How is stroke treated?

Once you spot any of the stroke symptoms highlighted above, seek emergency care immediately and the doctor will start by determining the cause of your stroke and an appropriate treatment will be started. If the supply of blood to the brain is quickly and completely restored, one can recover with minimal or no disability.