What Is a Stroke?
The brain controls everything we do — from our most complex thoughts to basic functions like walking and talking. And a healthy brain depends on healthy blood flow — blood carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain’s 86 billion cells. When that blood flow is interrupted and can’t reach a part of the brain, it’s called a stroke. A stroke is also known as a “brain attack,” and for a good reason — the damage can be catastrophic.
Types Of Strokes
There are many types of strokes, but the most common are ischemic and hemorrhagic, which are caused by clotting and bleeding, respectively.
- Ischemic Strokes (clots) – Occurs when a blood vessel supplying blood to the brain is blocked. It is the most common type, accounting for 87% of strokes.
- Hemorrhagic Strokes (bleeds) – Occurs when a ruptured blood vessel causes bleeding in the brain and stops oxygen and nutrients from reaching brain cells.
A Stroke’s Impact
Brain cells can survive without oxygen for a short time, but not very long. Once these cells die, they cannot be resuscitated, and the functions controlled by that part of the brain are lost permanently. This is why a stroke’s impact depends on what part of the brain is affected.
A stroke can impair many abilities, including:
- Movement and sensation
- Speech and language
- Eating and swallowing
- Cognitive (thinking, reasoning, judgment, and memory) ability
- Perception and orientation to surroundings
- Self-care ability
- Bowel and bladder control
- Emotional control
- 75% of strokes affect people 65 or older.
- The chance of having a stroke doubles every decade after 55 years old.
- 800,000 people a year have a stroke — one person every 40 seconds.
- Stroke is the third leading cause of death among Americans — killing about 140,000 people yearly.
Learn more about strokes and the diagnosis of strokes and how to B.E.F.A.S.T.
For more information on strokes and how CorsoCare can support you and your loved one, call us at 248-438-8535.