Brain Stroke Causes
A stroke, also referred to as a cerebrovascular accident happens when the brain is not supplied with blood resulting in the death of the brain cells and one of the most common stroke causes is the blockage of an artery. When one of the brain arteries is blocked by a blood clot, the brain is deprived of blood and oxygen and the cells from the affected part of the brain die. The small clots that can block an artery are called thrombosis and they are the most common cause of stroke.
There is a bigger risk that a clot will form into a smaller blood vessel which was most likely previously narrowed due to various risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and smoking. In other stroke cases, calcium and cholesterol deposits that are formed on the wall of the artery (which is known as atherosclerotic plaque) or blood clots can break loose and gets to the artery of the brain by traveling through the open arteries. Then the stroke causes are represented by the blocked flow of oxygen-rich blood to the brain and what is called embolic stroke occurs. This type of stroke is normally caused by clots that came from the heart chamber due to abnormalities of the heart such as arrhythmia or atrial fibrillation. Primary brain tumors may also cause strokes.
Other stroke causes include cerebral hemorrhage or subarachnoid hemorrhage. The first occurs due to the rupture of one of the blood vessels in the brain that causes bleeds into the surrounding brain tissue; basically it is bleeding into the brain. Some parts of the brain may not receive enough blood and oxygen and this will cause a stroke. Also, bleeding into the brain can lead to cerebral edema, the swelling of brain tissue which will ultimately increase the intracranial pressure, squeezing the brain against the skull. This causes most of the time further damage. The subarachnoid hemorrhage is normally a result of a broken or ruptured blood vessel in the brain. Most of the time it is a form of aneurysm in which blood accumulates in the space beneath the arachnoid membrane. This type of stroke can end up in a coma or brain death if the symptoms are not recognized and treated. Its major symptoms are severe headache and stiff neck.
Other medical conditions such as vasculitis can be in rare cases stroke causes. This is mainly due to the fact that in patients with vasculitis the blood vessels become inflamed and there are more risks of developing blood vessels abnormalities.
It is more likely that persons suffering from high blood pressure, diabetes or persons with high cholesterol as well as older people will suffer from stroke. For those at risk it is very important to avoid the risk factors such as smoking and to try keeping their cholesterol and blood pressure under control because like that they will be able to discard some of the stroke causes.