A stroke occurs when blood circulation to the brain fails. Brain cells can die from decreased blood flow and the resulting lack of oxygen. There are two broad categories of stroke: those caused by a blockage of blood flow and those caused by bleeding. A blockage of blood vessel in the brain or neck, called an ischemic stroke, is the most frequent cause of stroke and is responsible for about 80 perecent of strokes. These blockages stem from three conditions: the formation of a clot within a blood vessel of the brain or neck, called thrombosis; the movement of a clot from another part of the body such as the heart to the neck or brain, called embolism; or a severe narrowing of an artery in or leading to the brain, called stenosis. Bleeding into the brain or the spaces surrounding the brain cases the second type of stroke, called hemorrhagic stroke.
Archive for December, 2010
The risk of stroke doubles for each successive decade after age 55. Having a risk factor for stroke doesn’t mean you’ll have a stroke . On the other hand, not having a risk factor doesn’t mean you’ll avoid a stroke but your risk of stroke grows as the number and severity of risk factors increases. The good news is that you can develop a strategy to lower your risk to average or even below average for your age. Many risk factors for stroke can be managed, some very successfully. Although risk is never zero at any age, by starting early and controlling your risk factors you can lower your risk of death or disability from stroke. A better understanding of the causes of stroke can help you make lifestyle changes that will cut your risk of stroke dramatically.
The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported stroke dropped from its long-time three spot of death to fourth, switching places with chronic lower respiratory disease. The decrease in stroke mortality is due to improved prevention, the increase use of clot-busting thrombolytics and other medications ward off recurrent strokes. However, stroke remains a leading cause of serious, long-term-disability in the US costing an estimated $73.7 billion in 2010.