Definition & Effects of Stroke
What is Stroke?
Stroke is an abrupt interruption of constant blood flow to the brain that causes loss of neurological function. The interruption of blood flow can be caused by a blockage, leading to the more common ischemic stroke, or by bleeding in the brain, leading to the more deadly hemorrhagic stroke. Ischemic stroke make up an estimated 80 percent of all stroke cases. Stroke occurs suddenly, sometimes with little or no warning, and the results can be devastating.
Time is Brain
It is crucial that proper care is administered as fast as possible so that blood flow and oxygen can be restored to the brain quickly. Without oxygen and important nutrients, the stunned brain cells die within a few hours. Once brain cells die, they cannot regenerate and devastating damage may occur, sometimes resulting in physical, cognitive and mental disabilities. The stunned brain is recoverable within 8-9 hours of the onset of symptoms if advanced treatments are started. Comprehensive and Acute Primary Stroke Networks are the locations to receive these advanced treatments and interventions. But remember, it all starts with a 9-1-1 call.
What are the effects of a stroke?
The effects of a stroke depend primarily on the location of the obstruction and the extent of brain tissue affected. One side of the brain controls the opposite side of the body, so a stroke affecting the right side will result in neurological complications on the left side of the body.
A stroke on the right side may result in the following:
- Paralysis on the left side of the body
- Vision problems
- Quick, inquisitive behavior
- Memory loss
A stroke on the left side may result in the following:
- Paralysis on the right side of the body
- Speech/language problems
- Slow, cautious behavior
- Memory loss