When you have an
ischemic stroke, the oxygen-rich blood supply to part of your brain is reduced.
hemorrhagic stroke, there is bleeding in the
After about 4 minutes without blood and oxygen,
brain cells become damaged and may die. The body tries to restore
blood and oxygen to the cells by enlarging other blood vessels (arteries) near
A year ago last October I got up at 4 a.m., went to the bathroom, and came back to bed -- and all of a sudden everything started spinning. I got up and fell back down. I had blurry and double vision. I was extremely nauseous and vomited for hours.
It crossed my mind that I might be having a stroke -- I've been a stroke nurse practitioner for 8 years -- but I thought, this is too ironic. I'm 44. I'm healthy. I have no known risk factors. I don't have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes...
If blood supply isn't restored, permanent damage
usually occurs. The body parts
controlled by those damaged cells cannot function.
This loss of function may be mild or
severe. It may be temporary or permanent. It depends on where and how much of the
brain is damaged and how fast the blood supply can be returned to the affected
cells. Life-threatening complications may also occur. This is why it's important to get treatment as soon as possible.
depends on the location and amount of brain damage caused by the stroke, the
ability of other healthy areas of the brain to take over for the
damaged areas, and
rehabilitation. In general, the less damage there is
to the brain tissue, the less disability results and the greater the chances of
a successful recovery.
Stroke is the most common nervous-system–related cause of physical
disability. Of people who survive a stroke, half will
still have some disability 6 months after the stroke.
You have the greatest chance of regaining
your abilities during the first few months after a stroke. Regaining some
abilities, such as speech, comes slowly, if at all. About half of all people
who have a stroke will have some long-term problems with talking,
understanding, and decision-making. They also may have changes in behavior that
affect their relationships with family and friends.
After a stroke, you (or a caregiver)
may also notice: