- A blood clot blocks an artery that supplies part of the brain disrupting blood flow to that area. This is called an ischemic stroke, and is the most common type of stroke.
- A blood vessel supplying the brain breaks, interrupting blood flow to an area of the brain. This is called a hemorrhagic stroke.
What happens when brain cells die?
When brain cells die, the abilities those cells controlled are lost. Depending what area of the brain is effected a stroke can result in a loss of abilities such as speech, movement, and memory. How great the loss is depends how much of the brain is damaged. Symptoms can range from being paralyzed on one side of the body, to loss of the ability to speak.
Are you at risk for a stroke?
Anyone can have a stroke, but there are certain characteristics that place you at an increased risk. Certain factors such as age, gender, race, and family history are out of your control. The good news is there is something you can do. The National Stroke Association reports that approximately 80% of strokes are preventable. Listed below are risk factors that can be controlled through medical management and lifestyle changes.
Controllable Stroke Risk Factors:
- High Blood Pressure
- High Cholesterol
- Circulatory Disease
- Smoking/Tobacco Use
- Alcohol Use
- Physical inactivity
- Sudden confusion
- Sudden unexplained headache
- Sudden drooping of one side of the face or weakness of one side of the body
- Sudden difficulty with producing or understanding speech
- Sudden dizziness, loss of balance, or difficulty walking
The National Stroke Association has created this helpful “think FAST” acronym to help you recognize the signs of stroke in others, and seek immediate medical attention. Remember to “think FAST” and your help could make all the difference.