What is Stroke?

Intervention Through Collaboration

‘Living with Stroke” – Prof David Williams

RCSI MyHealth Lecture – November 2016 

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What is Stroke?

A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted, blocked or reduced.

Without a proper blood flow, part of the brain is deprived of oxygen nerve cells in the affected area of the brain cant function and will become damaged.

What is TIA?

– TIA or Transient Ischemic Attack, is a “mini stroke” that occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery for a short time.
The only differene between a Stroke and TIA is that with TIA the blockage is transient (temporary).
Stroke symptoms are transient/ temporary.
– Seek emergency care even if your symptoms resolve

What causes Stroke?

Divided into two categories.

The most common category is Ischaemic Stroke, caused by a reduction of blood flow to an area of the brain. This causes 80% of stroke. Reduction of blood flow can be caused by a blood clot going up a main artery to the brain or can be caused by a narrowing of a blood vessel supplying that area of the brain.

Haemorrhagic Stroke (brain haemmorrage) often caused by a leakage of a diseased blood vessel caused by either high blood pressure or burst aneurysm.

Risk Factors

Overweight – increased risk of hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol) all these factors associated with increased risk of stroke.

Lack of Exercise – increased risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Excess Alcohol Intake – affects blood pressure control, alcohol in moderation heps reduce risk of stroke. 

Blood Pressure – High blood pressure (hypertension) means pressure in your arteries is elevated.   140/90 = High B lood Pressure. The top number (systolic) is the pressure when the heart beats. The bottom number (diastolic) is the pressure when the heart rests between beats. Know your blood pressure reading. 

Atrial Fibbrillation – irreglarity in teh heart rate. If the heart has an irregular heart beat, it measn that blood clots can form in the heart. Those blood clots can go to the legs, arms or to the head. If they go to the head, this can cause stroke. 

Cervical artery Dissection – When the main artery in the neck dissets as a rsult of trama. That trama causes a small blood clot to formand that blood clot can go to the brain and casue a stroke. 

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