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A stroke (also known as a cerebral vascular accident) occurs when the blood supply to your brain is reduced or interrupted by a blood clot or a hemorrhage. This deprives the brain of oxygen and nutrients and causes brain cells to begin dying within a few minutes.
The five warning signs of stroke are:
1) Sudden onset of weakness or numbness on one side of the body
2) Sudden speech difficulty or confusion
3) Sudden difficulty seeing in one or both eyes
4) Sudden onset of dizziness, trouble walking or loss of balance
5) Sudden, severe headache with no known cause
If you experience any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately and the ambulance will take you to the nearest emergency room.
Alexander Khalessi, MD, discusses treatment options, prevention and advances in care for people who experience stroke. - KUSI News
Ischemic stroke: Occurs when blood vessels are blocked by a clot. The clot can be a thrombus, a clot that forms at the site of the blockage or an embolus, a clot that has moved from another part of the body and has become lodged in a blood vessel that feeds the brain.
Hemorrhagic stroke: Occurs as a result of a rupture or perforation of blood vessels within the brain. Hemorrhagic strokes can be caused by long-standing arterial hypertension, aneurysms (a weakened blood vessel wall), trauma, drug abuse or malformations of the blood vessels.
Transient ischemic attack (TIA): Sometimes called a “mini-stroke," a TIA is a warning sign of the potential for a future stroke. A TIA may last only a few minutes, or up to 24 hours. TIA occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is briefly interrupted. Symptoms are similar to those of a stroke but do not last as long.
To schedule an appointment at the UC San Diego Stroke Center, call 858-657-8530.
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