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Stroke

A stroke occurs when blood flow to a part of the brain stops. There are two major types of stroke:

  • Ischemic stroke
  • Hemorrhagic stroke

Ischemic stroke occurs when a blood vessel is blocked by a blood clot. Ischemic strokes can also be caused by arterial plaque.

A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain becomes weak and bursts open causing blood to leak into the brain.

Risk factors for strokes include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Diabetes
  • Family history of stroke
  • Being male
  • High cholesterol
  • Increasing age
  • Obesity
  • History of prior stroke or TIA

Graphic showing the signs of a stroke using the F.A.C.E. acronym.


Signs & Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of a stroke include:

  • Headache
  • Change in alertness
  • Changes in hearing or taste
  • Changes that affect touch and the ability to feel pain, pressure, or different temperatures
  • Confusion or loss of memory
  • Problems swallowing
  • Problems writing or reading
  • Dizziness or abnormal feeling of movement
  • Eyesight problems, such as decreased vision, double vision, or total loss of vision
  • Lack of control over the bladder or bowels
  • Loss of balance or coordination, or trouble walking
  • Muscle weakness in the face, arm, or leg on one side
  • Numbness or tingling on one side of the body
  • Personality, mood, or emotional changes
  • Trouble speaking or understanding others

Diagnosis

A Deborah physician will perform an exam to:

  • Check for problems with vision, movement, feeling, reflexes, understanding, or speaking
  • Listen to the carotid arteries in the neck with a stethoscope for an abnormal sound, called a bruit, which is caused by abnormal blood flow
  • Check for high blood pressure

These additional tests will likely be ordered:

  • CT scan of the brain to determine if there is any bleeding
  • MRI of the brain to determine the location of the stroke
  • Angiogram of the head to look for a blood vessel that is blocked or bleeding
  • Carotid ultrasound to see if arteries in the neck have narrowed
  • Echocardiogram to see if the stroke could have been caused by a blood clot from the heart
  • Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) or CT angiography to check for abnormal blood vessels in the brain

Terms & Conditions

By participating in this quiz, or screening or health assessment, I recognize and accept all risks associated with it. I understand that the program will only screen for certain risk factors and does not constitute a complete physical exam. For the diagnosis of a medical problem, I must see a physician for a complete medical exam. I release Deborah Heart and Lung Center and any other organization(s) involved in this screening, and their employees and agents, from all liabilities, medical claims or expenses which may arise from my participation. Thank you for investing in your health by participating today.