Types of Stroke


Types list: The list of types of Stroke mentioned in various sources includes:

  • Ischemic stroke - from reduced blood flow to a brain area.
  • Hemorrhagic stroke - from bleeding in the brain.
  • Right hemisphere stroke - a right brain stroke affecting the left side of the body.
  • Left hemisphere stroke - a left brain stroke affecting the right side of the body.
  • Cerebellar stroke - a stroke occurring in the cerebellum
  • Brain stem stroke - occurring in the brain stem.

Types discussion: There are two types of stroke:

  • Ischemic stroke, the most common type of stroke. This type of stroke happens when there is a sudden lack of blood flow to some part of the brain, usually due to a blood clot blocking an artery or blood vessel. Often the artery is already clogged with fatty deposits (atherosclerosis).

  • Hemorrhagic stroke. Bleeding in the brain from a broken or leaking blood vessel causes this type of stroke. A hemorrhagic stroke may be due to an aneurysma thin or weak spot in an artery called that balloons out and can burst.

Either type of stroke can cause brain cells to die. This brain damage may cause a person to lose control of certain functions, such as speech, movement, and memory. Like a heart attack, a stroke is an emergency and should be treated as quickly as possible. 1

There are three major types of stroke:

  • Thrombotic strokes are caused by fatty deposits (plaques) that have built up in the arteries carrying blood to the brain. This slows blood flow and can cause clots to form on the plaques that narrow or block the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the brain.
  • An embolic stroke is caused by a blood clot formed in another part of the body that breaks loose, travels through the bloodstream, and blocks an artery carrying oxygen and nutrients to the brain. When traveling through the body the blood clot is called an embolus.
  • A hemorrhagic stroke is caused when an artery supplying blood bleeds into the brain. The broken blood vessel prevents needed oxygen and nutrients from reaching brain cells. One type of hemorrhagic stroke is caused when an artery that has weakened over time bulges (called an aneurysm) and suddenly bursts.

    Diagnosis and Treatment

    A stroke requires immediate medical care. If you think you are having a stroke, call 911. Research shows that treatment during the first few hours after stroke symptoms appear can be important for the best possible recovery. An emergency doctor or a neurologist (a doctor who diagnoses and treats disorders of the brain and nervous system) will provide emergency treatment. Then a family doctor, internist, or geriatrician can step in and provide continuing care.

    Doctors make an early diagnosis by studying symptoms, reviewing the patient's medical history, and performing tests such as a computerized tomography (CT) scan-a 3-dimensional x-ray of the brain.

    What You Can do to Prevent a Stroke

    A stroke is a single, damaging attack, but the conditions or risk factors that lead to a stroke, such as high blood pressure, smoking, heart disease, and diabetes develop over many years. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part of the National Institutes of Health, has developed a worksheet to help you estimate your stroke risk. For a copy of Brain Basics: Preventing Stroke, contact the NINDS information office listed below.

    You can reduce your stroke risk by taking the following steps:

    • Control your blood pressure. Have your blood pressure checked often, and, if it is high, follow your doctor's advice on how to lower it. Treating high blood pressure reduces the risk for both stroke and heart disease.

    1. excerpt from Stroke: NWHIC
    2. excerpt from Stroke Prevention and Treatment - Age Page - Health Information: NIA

    Last revision: June 18, 2003

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