Have you ever wondered how many types of strokes are there? Well, there are 3 main types of strokes and in this post, we will talk about the differences between them.
Throughout our lives, the cells in our brain get a consistent, uninterrupted supply of oxygen and other nutrients from our blood. Neurons need oxygen to power the metabolic processes that allow them to fire off chemical signals that result in the thoughts that we experience.
However, sometimes, especially as we age, problems with our blood vessels – the tubes that transport the blood – can lead to that supply being cut off.
What Is A Stroke?
A “stroke” is a medical emergency in which part of the brain is cut off from its regular supply of blood.
When this happens, the neurons that had been bathed continually in nutrients lose their source of energy and begin dying off.
Brain cells can survive for a few minutes without a supply of blood, but if they aren’t hooked back up quickly, then they can die, resulting in permanent brain damage in the afflicted individual.
How Many Types Of Strokes Are There?
All strokes involve the blood supply being cut off to part of the brain (either temporarily or permanently). However, what differentiates the various types of stroke is what causes the blood supply to fail in the first place.
There are typically 3 different types of strokes, which we will explain in more detail below.
A hemorrhagic stroke is one in which a blood vessel supplying your brain suddenly bursts, releasing blood into the surrounding tissue. Even though the rupture bathes the brain in blood, no freshly oxygenated blood can reach cells downstream, and they become starved.
Medics divide hemorrhagic strokes into three sub-types.
- The first occurs when extremely high blood pressure causes small blood vessels in the brain to burst and leak blood.
- The second arises from a malformation of particular arteries in the brain that put them at risk of bursting.
- The final type happens when a segment of the outer lining of a blood vessel balloons outwards, becomes weak and eventually bursts. (This third type is sometimes called an aneurysm).
An ischemic stroke is one in which a blood clot blocks the blood vessels to the brain, preventing new blood from getting through.
Just like ischemic heart disease, the same underlying disease process is at work. A chunk of plaque from a fatty deposit in an artery somewhere in the body breaks off and then travels up through the cardiovascular system until it reaches the blood vessels that lead to the brain.
As the diameter of the blood vessels shrinks, the embolism gets stuck, preventing blood behind it from getting through.
Ischemic strokes make up around 87 per cent of all strokes.
Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIA)
Transient ischemic attacks are identical to ischemic strokes, except the blockage is temporary, rather than permanent.
The embolism – the thing causing the blockage – either moves on or gets broken down by the force of blood around it, passing out of the body harmlessly.
TIAs are usually considered to be a warning sign that a more severe ischemic stroke might be iimminent. Symptoms should disappear within 24-48 hours.
How Miranda’s Physio Steps Can Help
If you’ve suffered a stroke, then Miranda’s Physio Steps can help. We create an individual plan for your impairment and help you recover as much as your former function as possible.