Stroke is a medical condition characterized by loss of blood supply to a part of the brain resulting in neurological deficits such as loss of consciousness, loss of control of limbs’ movement, etc. Loss of blood supply is due to a blood clot constricting blood supply in brain vessels or the rupture of an already formed clot resulting in hemorrhage in that part of the brain. When uncontrolled for a prolonged time, certain medical conditions such as diabetes and hypertension can increase the prevalence of stroke.
There are two main causes of stroke:
Stroke can be classified into two types depending upon the causes of stroke:
Ischemic stroke is the most common type, with more than 80 percent of stroke cases being ischemic. Sometimes ischemic type can be converted into hemorrhagic type as the blood clot dislodges and ruptures due to fibrinolytic therapy.
Stroke is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. According to WHO, 15 million people suffer from stroke each year, 5 million people die, and 5 million suffer permanent disability. In the United States alone, stroke is the fifth leading cause of death. It is more prevalent in blacks than in whites. Men are at higher risk for stroke than compared to women. With increasing age, the incidence also increases. Risk factors for stroke include:
Following are the signs and symptoms of stroke:
Following labs are used for the diagnosis of stroke:
It is essential to differentiate between ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke to manage and contain stroke effectively. Clinical features such as coma, neck stiffness, headache, vomiting, etc., are generally associated with hemorrhagic stroke. Other differential diagnoses for stroke include:
Following medicines are used to treat stroke:
The prognosis of stroke depends upon many factors such as the severity of the stroke, patient’s age, comorbidities, and post-stroke complications. Mortality can be predicted using various clinical assessment criteria such as the stroke score, which considers factors like preexisting diabetes, hypertension, severity, and extent of stroke, etc., where a score of 10 or higher is associated with a higher death rate.
Our clinical experts continually monitor the health and medical content posted on CURA4U, and we update our blogs and articles when new information becomes available. Last reviewed by Dr.Saad Zia on May 29, 2023.
About Stroke | cdc.gov
Stroke - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic