Stroke, also recognized as a cerebrovascular accident (CVA), is an emergency issue and should be handled with urgency. It is the disruption of blood flow to the brain tissue leading to rapid damage to brain tissue. It presents with clinical signs of focal or global disturbance of cerebral function.
At Mayor Boss, after thorough research, we decide to create a list warning sign of a stroke to help you identify stroke symptoms. So without further delay, let’s get started.
There are 3 main types of stroke:
Transient ischemic attack (TIA)
Transient ischemic attack (TIA), also known as a mini-stroke, is the temporary disruption of blood flow to the brain with no permanent damage. TIA lasts for a period of a few seconds to 24 hours with complete recovery.
What are the signs of a mini-stroke?
The symptoms of mini-stroke (TIA) are:
- Blurred vision
- Temporary loss of memory
- Lightheadedness and feeling faint
- Facial muscle numbness
- Weakness on one side of the body
- Mental confusion
- Problem with coordination of extremities
- Slurred speech
Ischemic stroke occurs as a result of a blockage in the vessels of the neck or the brain. There are 2 types of blockage: Thrombotic (which is when a blood clot blocks the vessels) or Embolic( when the vessels are blocked by a buildup of fat in the vessels called plaque. Embolic can also be referred to as a vessel blocked with air, but in stroke, the accumulation of fat is the major embolic causes.
What are the symptoms of ischemic stroke?
The signs and Symptoms of Ischemic strokes are:
- An ischemic stroke usually occurs at rest.
- Presence of consciousness
- Absence of neck stiffness and negative kernig sign: (Kernig sign is a physical examination done by placing the patient in a supine position, then flexing the leg at the hip and knee on a 90-degree angle, after that try to extend the leg while keeping the hip flexed. If the patient feels pain and resists further extension, kernig sign is positive)
- Normal/moderate blood pressure rate. ( Normal BP in a healthful adult is 120/80mmhg)
- Absence of convulsions
- Headache is a rare occurrence. It is usually absent
- Absence of vomiting
- Presence of past history of Transient ischemic attack (TIA)
Hemorrhagic stroke occurs due to leakage from a vessel in the brain. There are 2 types of hemorrhage: Intracerebral hemorrhage, which is non-traumatic bleeding into the brain parenchyma(tissue), and subarachnoid hemorrhage refers to bleeding into the space between the pia mater and arachnoid membranes. Subarachnoid hemorrhage usually occurs due to trauma or a rupture of a major vessel in the brain.
What are the symptoms of hemorrhagic stroke?
The signs and symptoms of hemorrhagic stroke, including:
- It occurs during intense activities.
- There is a loss of consciousness.
- Presence of convulsion.
- Presence of neck stiffness and positive kernig sign
- Presence of vomiting.
- Severe throbbing headache that doesn’t get better with paracetamol.
- Severe hypertension above 160/110.
- History of past Transient ischaemic attack is rare. It is usually not present.
What are the main causes of a stroke?
There are two types of disruption to blood flow that cause stroke:
- Disruption of blood supply by a blocked artery also known as ischemic stroke
- Leaking/bursting of a blood vessel, also known as a hemorrhagic stroke.
How is a stroke diagnosed?
Diagnosis of stroke is carried out by Computer tomography ( CT scan) and Magnetic resonance imaging(MRI). CT scan is the gold standard of diagnosis because it detects more than 90% of all bleeds within the next 48hours. Another test is done are:
- Lipid profile
- Lumbar puncture for cerebrospinal fluid analysis invades of suspicion of subarachnoid hemorrhage.
- Chest x-ray.
- Random blood sugar, full blood count, urinalysis, and serum urea/ electrolyte/creatinine.
Is a Stroke curable?
The goal of management is to restore cerebral circulation and manage complications on time to prevent further recurrence and limit disability. The Gold standard medication for stroke is a Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), also called Alteplase. It breaks down block clots. Therefore, it is popularly called a clot-busting drug. Other treatments are:
- Antiplatelet: Aspirin 150-375mg/day.
- Anticoagulant: heparin or warfarin (coumadin).
- Antihypertensive: ACE Inhibitors
- Statins to reduce cholesterol
- Analgesic and sedative in the case of Subarachnoid hemorrhage.
- Carotid endarterectomy: is the surgical removal of fat buildup in the neck vessels, also called carotid arteries.
Lastly, while you’re here, check out our articles how to lower your stroke risk