A cerebral hemorrhage, causes sudden loss of consciousness, followed by paralysis. Bleeding in the brain occurs when ruptured blood vessels spill blood into the surrounding brain tissue. Disrupted blood flow deprives the brain of blood and oxygen, which causes a stroke, or cerebrovascular accident (CVA), causing brain cells to die. Blood flow disruption is attributed to blockage or rupture of arteries.
Blockage of an artery comes about because of the formation of a blood clot in the vessel due to previous narrowing of the artery cause by high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and smoking. Blockage can also occur when atherosclerotic plaque (cholesterol and calcium deposits) brakes away from the wall of a vessel forming a plug or embolism within the artery, prohibiting blood flow.
Rupture of an artery is cause by uncontrolled blood pressure over a long period of time, or by aneurysm that weakens the wall of the vessel These two conditions make the artery so tenuous that it bleeds into the tissue of the brain. The accumulation of blood from the hemorrhaging causes swelling of the brain tissue or cerebral edema. Swelling escalates the pressure of the bony skull on the brain, inflicting more damage to the brain.
The symptoms of stroke expressed by The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
(NINDS), are as follows:
- Complete paralysis on one side of the body.
- Weakness on one side of the body.
- Problems with thinking, awareness, learning, judgment and memory.
- Problems understanding or forming speech.
- Difficulty controlling emotions.
- Numbness or strange sensations.
To prevent a stroke you have to reduce the risk factors. You must control high blood pressure and diabetes, reduce cholesterol levels, and avoid using tobacco products.
There may be an open window for treating the patient with anticlotting drugs to dissolve the clot, or treatment to reduce the hemorrhaging, and stop the stroke while it is happening. These forms of acute stroke therapies, if performed soon enough can reduce the damage. Post treatment could include physical, speech and occupational therapies.
Isaac Hayes was 65 years old when he succumbed to a killer stroke, but it could happen at a much younger age if the risk factors are not controlled. Click [READ] for more detailed information.