Updated: Jul 6, 2020
A stroke is a sudden interruption in the blood supply of the brain. Most strokes are caused by an abrupt blockage of arteries leading to the brain (ischemic stroke). Other strokes are caused by bleeding into brain tissue when a blood vessel bursts (hemorrhage stroke). Because stroke occurs rapidly and requires immediate treatment. When the symptoms of a stroke last only a short time (less than an hour), this is called a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or mini-stroke. The effects of a stroke depend on which part of the brain is injured, and how severely it is injured.
Strokes may cause:
Loss of sensation
Difficulty with speaking, seeing, or walking.
Since different parts of the brain control different areas and functions, it is usually the area immediately surrounding the stroke that is affected. Sometimes people with stroke have a headache, but stroke can also be completely painless.
The most common sign of stroke is sudden weakness of the face, arm or leg, most often on one side of the body.
Other warning signs can include:
Sudden numbness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body
Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech
Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
Sudden severe headache with no known cause
Types of Stroke
Stroke (for patients & families)
The most common type of stroke, accounting for almost 80 percent of all strokes, is caused by a clot or other blockage within an artery leading to the brain.
An intracerebral hemorrhage is a type of stroke caused by the sudden rupture of an artery within the brain. Blood is then released into the brain compressing brain structures.
A subarachnoid hemorrhage is also a type of stroke caused by the sudden rupture of an artery. A subarachnoid hemorrhage differs from an intracerebral hemorrhage in that the location of the rupture leads to blood filling the space surrounding the brain rather than inside of it.