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About Strokes

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, or by bleeding in the brain.

A stroke is usually categorized as one of two types:

  • Ischemic. About 80 percent of all strokes are ischemic which means there is a lack of blood supply to an area of the brain, resulting in some of the cells dying. This happens when blood vessels to the brain become narrow or clogged, cutting off blood flow to the brain cells.
  • Hemorrhagic. This type of stroke occurs when there is a tear in the wall of an artery in the brain. Leaking or rupturing occurs, producing bleeding into or around the brain.

The effects of a stroke, including the severity of those effects, depend on where in the brain it has occurred and the extent of the damage.

Since brain cells require a constant supply of oxygen to stay healthy and function properly, blood needs to be supplied continuously to the brain through two main arterial systems:

  • The carotid arteries that come up through either side of the front of the neck.
  • The basilar and vertebral arteries that begin at the base of the skull and run up along the spine, join, and come up through the back of the neck.

Blockage of blood flow to the brain for even a short period of time can be disastrous and cause brain damage or even death.

In some cases, patients may experience a “warning stroke” or Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA). A TIA occurs when blood flow to a certain area of the brain briefly stops. The person has the same signs of a stroke, but the signs go away completely. The difference between a stroke and a TIA is that the TIA is a warning sign. It does not result in permanent damage and because of that, it cannot be seen on a CT scan or an MRI scan.

Stroke Care and Women’s Health

Each year, 55,000 more women have strokes than men, according to the National Stroke Association. This is mainly because women live longer than men, in general, and the risk for stroke increases with age. However, most women don’t know their risk of having a stroke. But there’s some good news: Up to 80% of strokes can be prevented. This means it’s important to know your risk of having a stroke and to take action to reduce that risk.

Watch Dr. Igwe tell her personal story about the warning signs and surviving a stroke.


Signs and Symptoms of a Stroke

The sooner a person arrives to the emergency room, the sooner treatment can begin and the better the chance for a successful recovery.

Treatment Options

Medical management, or drug therapy, is usually the first course of action, although other treatment options are available.

Effects of a Stroke

Most strokes get better with time. How much time and how much better differs for each patient.


Options to Request an Appointment

If your situation is an emergency, call 911.