A stroke occurs after the blood supply to the brain is disturbed. Overall, men have more cases of this condition than women.

Strokes are divided into 2 categories depending on cause: cerebral hemorrhages and infarcts. Cerebral hemorrhage strokes occur when an artery leaks blood into or around the brain, resulting in tissue death. Infarcts are similar to heart attacks in that some of the brain’s nerve tissue dies when its blood supply is reduced. Infarcts result most often from atherosclerosis. In people with atherosclerosis, a blood clot may form in the narrowed channel and block blood flow to the brain, a condition called cerebral thrombosis.

When people become older, the risk of having a stroke rises. Such medical conditions like diabetes, smoking, hypertension and atherosclerosis increase the risk of stroke in both men and women. FDA asked manufacturers to remove a number of prescription and nonprescription drugs from the market because they contained an ingredient leading to stroke. The symptoms of the stroke depend on how much and which parts of the brain are affected. The common symptoms usually include confusion, dizziness, sudden loss of consciousness, double vision, deterioration of speech, or sensation. The people with this condition also may experience vomiting, headache or difficulty swallowing. Suspicion of a stroke usually is evaluated by a neurologist who performs neurological examinations and blood work to isolate other illnesses.

An MRI scan is usually done to look for abnormalities in blood vessels. Also, a lumbar puncture or spinal tap might be performed. In people with stroke, the person must immediately call the ambulance. No drinks or food should be given. Sometimes a surgery is required to remove blood from brain tissues after a hemorrhagic stroke happens or to correct an underlying aneurysm.

Stroke can be prevented by regularly checking your blood pressure and avoiding smoking. There are many programs which can help educate patients and their families about stroke and teach how to prevent this dangerous condition.

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