The first thing the doctor needs to find out
is what kind of stroke it is: ischemic or hemorrhagic. This is important,
because the medicine given to treat a stroke caused by a blood clot could be
deadly if used for a stroke caused by bleeding in the brain.
find out what kind of stroke it is, the doctor will do a type of X-ray called a
CT scan of the brain, which can show if there is
bleeding. The doctor may order other tests to find the location of the clot or
bleeding, check for the amount of brain damage, and check for other conditions
that can cause symptoms similar to a stroke.
For an ischemic stroke, treatment focuses on restoring blood flow to
the brain. If you get to the hospital right away after symptoms begin, doctors
may use a medicine that dissolves blood clots. Research shows that this
medicine can improve recovery from a stroke, especially if given within 90
minutes of the first symptoms.1 Other medicines may be
given to prevent blood clots and control symptoms.
hemorrhagic stroke can be hard to treat. Doctors may do
surgery or other treatments to stop bleeding or reduce pressure on the brain.
Medicines may be used to control blood pressure, brain swelling, and other
After either kind of stroke and after your condition is stable, treatment shifts to
preventing other problems and future strokes. You may need to take a number of
medicines to control conditions that put you at risk for stroke, such as high
blood pressure or atrial fibrillation. Some people need to have a
surgery to remove
plaque buildup from the blood vessels that supply the
brain (carotid arteries).
The best way to get
better after a stroke is to start
stroke rehabilitation (rehab). The goal of stroke rehab is to help you
regain skills you lost or to make the most of your remaining abilities. Stroke
rehab can also help you take steps to prevent future strokes. You have the
greatest chance of regaining abilities during the first few months after a
stroke. So it is important to start rehab soon after a stroke and do a little