What is a Stroke?
Stroke is a sudden loss of brain function. It is caused by a disruption in blood flow to a part of the brain. It occurs when the blood vessel either ruptures or becomes blocked. A stroke deprives the neurons and other brain cells of glucose and oxygen, which leads to cell death. The longer the brain is deprived of oxygen and nutrients, the higher the likelihood of permanent damage to the brain.
Stroke results in permanent death of one region of the brain – it is a form of permanent brain damage. The effects of a stroke depend on the location and severity of damage.
Stroke is a medical emergency. An average of 1.9 million brain cells die every minute after a stroke. Treatments for acute ischemic stroke vary, but include: clot-busting drugs or new advanced treatments in appropriately selected patients. Acting quickly can improve survival and recovery. Time is Brain!
Impact of Stroke
- At least every 30 minutes, one new stroke occurs in Ontario
- More than 5,500 (22%) people in Ontario die within one year of their stroke (Source: http://ontariostrokenetwork.ca/information-about-stroke/stroke-stats-and-facts. January 19 2016)
For every 100 persons who experience a stroke:
- 15 die (15%)
- 10 recover completely (10%)
- 25 recover with a minor impairment or disability (25%)
- 40 are left with a moderate to severe impairment (40%)
- 10 are so severely disabled they require long-term care (10%)
Types of Stroke
There are two types of strokes: ischemic (80-85% of all strokes) and hemorrhagic (15-20% of all strokes).
- Ischemic Stroke
- An ischemic stroke is caused by interruption in blood flow due to sudden blockage of a brain artery.
- Hemorrhagic Stroke
- A hemorrhagic stroke is caused by rupture of a brain artery leading to bleeding into the brain or into the spaces around the brain.