Signs, Symptoms and Types of Stroke : Overview of Stroke

By | March 11, 2021
  • Author Dr H M Jonathan
  • Published March 10, 2021
  • Word count 947


When a part of the brain loses its blood supply (when the blood supply to a part of the brain is interrupted or decreased) and stops working, then stroke occurs. As a result of stroke, brain cells begin to die in within a minute.

Stroke is also known as Cerebrovascular Accident (CVA), or it is also known as “Brain Attack.”

Signs and symptoms of stroke:

• Trouble in speaking and understanding what other people are telling

• Confusion, slur your words

• Difficulty in understanding others speech

• Paralysis of the face, arm or leg

• Sudden numbness, weakness or paralysis can develop

• It often affects or attacks just one side of the body

• If anyone unable to raise both his arms over the head at the same time, or after raising hand, if any hand falls down, it may be a sign of stroke

• One side of the mouth may droop while you are trying to smile

• Problems may be seen or observed in one or both eyes.

• Blurred or blackened vision in one or both eyes may be appeared

• The patient may also see the double of any image

• A severe headache

• Vomiting

• Tingling

• Loss of vision

• Nausea

• Trouble or changes in the level of consciousness

• Dizziness (sudden dizziness)

• Trouble while walking

• Patient lose the balance of the body

• Coordination problems

Types of Stroke

There are mainly three (3) types of stroke. They are–

 Ischemic stroke

 Hemorrhagic stroke

 Transient ischemic attack (Mini-Stroke)

Ischemic Stroke

• Most of the strokes are ischemic strokes (87%)

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• When the blood flow through the artery (which supplies oxygen-rich blood to the brain) becomes blocked or obstructed then an ischemic stroke happens

• Blood clots often makes the blockages in the artery and those blockings lead to ischemic strokes

• There are a couple of ways by which the artery can be blocked or obstructed

Hemorrhagic Stroke

• Affected brain cells stop working

• When an artery in the brain leaks blood, then hemorrhagic stroke happens

• The leaked blood puts too much pressure on the brain cells, which damages them

• Sometimes, the bleeding forms a hematoma that directly damages the brain cells

• It can also cause swelling that puts pressure on the surrounding brain tissues

• Affected brain cells stop their working

There are two (2) types of hemorrhagic strokes:

Intracerebral hemorrhage

Intracerebral hemorrhage is the most common type of hemorrhagic stroke

It occurs when an artery in the brain bursts and causes harm to the tissues

Subarachnoid hemorrhage

It is a less common type of hemorrhagic stroke

Between the brain and the thin tissues (that covers the brain), bleeding occurs

Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)

• It (TIA) is a short-lived stroke

• It is just like ischemic strokes

• Blood clots often cause Transient Ischemic Attack

• It is a warning sign of the future stroke

• It is a medical emergency, like a major or severe stroke

• It is caused by the loss of blood supply

• It causes a loss of function of the body

• Emergency care is needed

• Most people refer it as TIA or “mini-stroke”

Risk Factors of Stroke

• High blood pressure

• High cholesterol

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• Smoking

• Diabetes

• Increasing of age

• Heart valve defects

• Salt

• Saturated fats

• Trans fats

• Unhealthy diet

• Inactivity

• Consumption of alcohol

• Heart disorders (like- coronary artery disease)

• Using tobacco

• Previous stroke or TIA

• Enlarged heart chambers

• Irregular heartbeats

• Sickle cell disease

Causes of Stroke:

• Temporary blockage in the artery that leads or connects to the brain

• Blood clotting

• Blood not flowing to certain parts of the brain

• Atherosclerosis

• Plaque that is built up on the walls of a blood vessel

• Burst or leaking of the blood vessels

• Arteriovenous Malformation

• High blood pressure (hypertension)

• High cholesterol

• Atrial fibrillation

Tests to diagnosis of Stroke

• Blood tests

• MRI and CT scan

• EKG (electrocardiogram)

• Cerebral angiogram

• Carotid ultrasound

• Echocardiogram

Treatments for Stroke

Treatment depends on the types of stroke—

TIA and Ischemic stroke

Antiplatelet and anticoagulants

Aspirin is generally a first line of defense against stroke damage

These drugs should be taken within 24 to 48 hours after beginning of the stroke symptoms

Clot breaking drugs

Thrombolytic drugs are used to break up blood clots in the brain’s arteries

These drugs stop the stroke and reduce the damage of the brain

Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA)

Alteplase IV r-tPA

Mechanical Thrombectomy

In this procedure, doctor inserts a catheter into a large blood vessel inside of the patient’s head

A device is used to pull the clot out of the vessel

The surgery will be more successful if it’s performed 6 to 24 hours after the beginning of the stroke


Sometimes surgery is performed to remove the blood clot and plaques from the arteries.

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This can be done with a catheter. Doctor can open an artery to remove the blockage if the clot is too large.

Hemorrhagic stroke


Doctors install a coil-like device in the area where the artery wall is weak. It reduces bleeding.


Surgeon can place a small clamp at the base of the aneurysm to prevent the additional bleeding. It prevents a possible broken blood vessel or new bleeding.


If an aneurysm has burst, doctor can suggest to do surgery to clip the aneurysm and prevent additional bleeding. Craniotomy may be needed to relieve the pressure on the brain after a severe stroke.


Doctors may prescribe drugs that can reduce blood pressure, prevent blood vessel constriction, lower the pressure in the brain.

How to Prevent Stroke?

• Stop smoking

• Do exercise regularly

• Take a healthy diet

• Stop to take alcohol

• Control the high blood pressure

• Control your diabetes

• Take fruits and vegetables regularly

• Try to avoid the illicit drugs

• Control the blood sugar levels

• Control cholesterol levels

• Try to maintain an ideal body weight

• Try to become physically active

• Take your prescribed medicine

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