Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center
What is Stroke?
What is a Stroke?
Stroke is the number three cause of death and a leading cause of serious, long-term disability in America. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel bringing blood and oxygen to the brain gets blocked or ruptures so brain cells don't get the flow of blood that they need.
Deprived of oxygen, nerve cells cannot function, and as a result, they die within minutes. When nerve cells can't function, the part of the body they control can't function either. The devastating effects of stroke are often permanent because dead brain cells can't be replaced.
What are the Types of Strokes?
Ischemic Stroke- This is the most common type of stroke, accounting for 80% of all strokes. This type occurs when a blood vessel in the brain becomes narrowed or clogged, cutting off flow to brain cells.
Hemorrhagic Stroke- This type of stroke occurs when a weakened blood vessel ruptures or breaks leaking blood into the brain.
TIA, or transient ischemic (TRAN-see-ynt is-KE-mik) attack- is a "mini-stroke" that occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery for a short time. The symptoms of a TIA are like the warning signs of a stroke, but they usually last only a few minutes. About 10 percent of strokes are preceded by TIAs.
TIAs are strong predictors of stroke risk. Don't ignore them. Call 911 or seek emergency medical attention immediately.
Why should I care about stroke?
The good news about stroke is that it's largely preventable. Research has shown that you can take steps to prevent stroke by reducing and controlling your risk factors.
The other good news is that more than 4.7 million people who have had strokes are alive today, and much is being done to treat strokes and stop them in their tracks. For example, the FDA's approval of the clot-dissolving drug tissue plasminogen activator (TPA) to treat Ischemic strokes represents a major advance in the fight against stroke. If you act fast and seek emergency treatment right away, you could reduce disabilities caused by stroke.