Brain Stroke Symptoms
Sometimes the stroke symptoms tend to be permanent as they are in a major stroke or, in some cases, they may be temporary. This is the case of a TIA or the transient ischemic attack. The stroke symptoms are the result of the death of the brain cells which implies that the particular area of the brain that has been deprived from blood and oxygen cease performing its tasks. The severity of the symptoms is related to the part of the brain that has been affected and also to the amount of damage that has been caused. However, some strokes may not have any symptoms and those are the so called “silent strokes”.
The United States National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) has established five major symptoms that a patient usually experiences when he or she is having a stroke. The stroke symptoms according to the NINDS are:
• Numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg which normally occurs on one side of the body and it tends to be sudden and can be complete or partial. Some of the patients experience a feeling of tingling in the affected area.
• Most of the patients have felt suddenly confused and experienced problems in speaking or understanding the others. Sometimes the patients are drooling as a result of the weakness in the muscles of the face.
• Sudden vision trouble in one or both eyes.
• Sudden loss of balance, incapability to walk or feeling dizzy.
• Sudden severe headache with no apparent known cause.
The stroke symptoms listed above are also referred at as traditional stroke symptoms. It seems that women are more likely to experience the non-traditional stroke symptoms among of which the most common is the altered mental status. Researchers and scientists however have no explanation yet for the fact that women are more predisposed to develop non-traditional stroke symptoms which most of the time are not recognized early enough and delay the administration of the right treatment. This type of symptom also counts as a very early sign of recognition of the disease.
There are two types of stroke, classified based on the type of abnormality that causes it. If blood clots (thrombosis) deprives the brain from getting the supply of oxygen-rich blood that it needs the stroke is called ischemic. An ischemic stroke is may be caused by a cerebral thrombosis or a cerebral embolism. If the blood vessel ruptures and causes blood leaking into the brain the stroke is hemorrhagic. A hemorrhagic stroke can be caused by an aneurysm or an arteriovenous malformation (AVM). From all cases of stroke, the ischemic stroke accounts for 87%.
Regardless the type of stroke, the early recognition of the stroke symptoms is crucial for the patient’s chances of survival and recovery.