Vascular Accidents In The Brain

What is a Stroke?


Vascular accidents in the brain occur when something goes wrong with the blood supply going to the brain. These vascular accidents in the brain are more commonly known as strokes. They can happen anywhere in brain from the brain stem to the actual grey matter, basically anywhere that will flow in the brain. About 80% of all strokes are what are known medically as an ischemic stroke. This type of stroke means that at the site of the vasculare accident the blood supply is either partially or totally interupted by a blockage. The other type of stroke is called a hemorrhagic stroke. As the name implies these happen when the blood flow is interupted to a point that the blood vessel ruptures and causes bleeding into the surrounding tissue.

Damage From a Stroke

Vascular Accidents In The BrainHaving a vascular accident in such a delicate and neuron packed area such as the brain causes many adverse reactions. The ability to receive sensations and the quality of those sensations can be severely altered. Stroke victims may experience double vision which may be long lasting, even after suffering the initial vascular accident. The sense of touch can damaged, often prickly, tingly or burning sensations are associated with suffering a stroke. Even pain sensations triggered by a gentle touch from another person can result from suffering a stroke. Sound, taste and smell can also be effected strangely post-stroke.

Stroke victims also suffer from impaired use of their muscles as the brain is central to controlling the body. Tremors, localized in a muscle group or over the entire body can occur. Usually victims report trouble swallowing and/or pain while swallowing. During a stroke often the jaw tightens and locks, making communication extremely difficult. This is why it is incredibly important to be able to recognize the symtoms of a stroke and act quickly. Stroke patients, in addition to losing the proper function of the muscles that control speech, may suffer damage to the area of the brain that formualtes and creates that speech. Victims may slur speech or otherwise mix up parts of their speech.

In the worst case scenario of a devastating vascular accident in the brain victims can suffer what has been termed 'Locked-In Syndrome'. This unbeleivably tragic state occurs when the results of the stroke leave the victim entirely or almost entirely paralyzed. The victim's mind is completely intact however their outside body in unable to execute the commands it is or isn't receiving. In these cases, patients may only be able to communicate by voluntarily blinking their eyes.

In the US the most frequent cause of disability is stroke. This type of trauma in the brain can interfere with a patient's ability to see, to speak, to eat, and even to move. To learn more about strokes please visit the National Stroke Foundation or the American Stroke Association.


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