A stroke is a “brain attack”. It can occur to anyone at any time. A stroke happens when blood supply to the brain is interrupted. Blood is carried to the brain by blood vessels called arteries. Blood contains oxygen and important nutrients for your brain cells. Blood may be interrupted or stop moving through an artery, because the artery is blocked (ischemic stroke) or bursts (hemorrhagic stroke). When brain cells do not get enough oxygen or nutrients, they die.
How a person is affected by the stroke depends on where the stroke occurs and how much the brain is damaged. For example, someone who has a small stroke may only face minor symptoms such as temporary weakness of an arm or leg. People who have larger strokes may be permanently paralyzed on one side of their body or lose ability to speak. Some people may recover from stroke completely, but more than 2/3 of survivors will have some type of disability.
A stroke that is caused by a blood clot. In everyday life, blood clotting is beneficial. When you are bleeding from a wound, blood clots work to slow and eventually stop the bleeding. In the case of a stroke, however, blood clots are dangerous because they can block arteries and cut off blood flow. As a result, the blood supply to the corresponding area of the brain is stopped and its cells (neurons) die. Approximately 80% of strokes occur as a result of the formation of a blood clot that clogs the lumen of a brain vessel.
Strokes caused by a break in the wall of a blood vessel in the brain.
This causes blood to leak into the brain, stopping the delivery of oxygen and nutrients.
Hemorrhagic stroke can be caused by a number of disorders which affect the blood vessels, including long-standing high blood pressure and cerebral aneurysms.
Every year about two children in every 100,000 will have a stroke. Strokes can occur in all age groups – from newborns to older teenagers. The causes of childhood stroke are poorly understood with little published research. Risk factors include pregnancy complications, difficulties at birth, blood clotting disorders and heart problems.