Brain stroke occurs when there is a blood supply disorder in a particular area of the brain, thereby reducing its supply of oxygen and nutrients. Nerve cell death occurs within minutes of the start of the process.
Brain stroke is an urgent state and requires urgent medical intervention. Timely treatment has a key role in keeping nerve cells in close proximity to the affected brain area, thus reducing the risk of complications and lethal outcome.
Despite the fact that brain stroke can be manifested in a very different clinical picture, depending on the affected part of the brain, the most common symptoms are:
- Paralysis or tingling sensation in the facial area, most often on one side , “hanging” at one oral angle, which is visible when trying to smile or lowering the outer ocular angle from the affected side;
- Paralysis, a feeling of weakness or tingling in one hand (more often) and / or the leg, most often on one side of the body – the symptom becomes visible when trying to lift both hands, respectively the two legs, whereby the affected limb he is quickly tired and relaxes down;
- Violation in speech – speech may become more distorted or cracked, or even lost. There may also be a difficult understanding of the foreign speech.
Even less often, the following manifestations of stroke can also occur:
- Violation of sight – Sudden blurred vision or blackout vision, double vision or complete loss of vision may be a manifestation of a stroke;
- Violation in the gait – dizziness, disturbance in the coordination of movements, sudden loss of balance;
- Headache – the sudden onset of severe headache, which may be accompanied by vomiting, dizziness or disturbance in the level of consciousness may be a sign of an onset of stroke;
- Swallowing problems (dysphagia);
- Difficult understanding of what others are saying ;
- Breach of consciousness .
The emergence of all listed signs is a signal of immediate urgent assistance, regardless of whether the violations have occurred at this time.
Types of stroke
Brain stroke is classified as ischemic or haemorrhagic. In over 80% of cases, the stroke is ischemic in nature and is due to a cerebral artery blockage from a localized thrombus or fatty deposit in the presence of high-grade atherosclerosis ( thrombotic stroke ) or embolus (thrombus) formed outside the brain tissue (most often in the heart) and got there with the bloodstream (an embolic type of stroke ).
Although less common is a haemorrhagic type of stroke that shows rupture (rupture) of a blood vessel in the brain. Causes of this may be high blood pressure, excessive use of anticoagulants, presence of aneurysm, arterio-venous malformation. The haemorrhagic stroke, in turn, is further classified as intracerebral (in the brain parenchyma) or subarachnoidal (more superficial).
Brain stroke or transient ischemic attack?
The difference between these two states is the duration of the symptoms. In the transient ischemic attack, symptoms usually persist between a few minutes and several hours, then subsided. Regardless of the complete reversal of complaints, the condition requires a reversal of emergency medical care, as transient ischemic attacks are often a “precursor” to the onset of stroke in the future. Therefore, it is of utmost importance at this stage to take timely measures to address risk factors such as high blood pressure, overweight, smoking, control of diabetes mellitus and dyslipidemia to reduce the risk of a true stroke in the future.