What Is a Stroke?

A stroke is a form of injury to the brain. Another name for it is “apoplexy”. when a stroke occurs, the flow of blood to a part of the brain is suddenly cut off.

As a result, all the structures connected with that part are injured. There are several things that can cause this failure of the blood to reach parts of the brain. A blood vessel may be ruptured and cause a hemorrhage.

A clot may form within a blood vessel. This is called “thrombosis”. there may be spasm of an artery. Or a blood clot, floating in the blood stream. This is called an “embolus”. An embolus is usually linked up with heart disease, but it may occur in other disease too.

In terms of damage, it does not matter what causes the stroke. That part of the brain through which pass the nerves that control our voluntary motions, our sensations of pain, our temperature, touch and vision may be damaged.

The most frequent cause of stroke is thrombosis. Strangely enough, a person can have this kind of a stroke after a period of inactivity. For example, a person might wake up in the morning to discover that an arm, or a leg, or even a whole side of the body is useless.

Or he may find that he can hardly speak or speak not at all. People with this kind of stroke have a pretty good chance of recovery, but there is usually some permanent disability.

In treating a stroke the doctor has to find out caused it, so needs a complete history of the illness of the person. People who become crippled in some way by a stroke can often be rehabilitated ; that is trained to regain the use of the function that was crippled. This includes use of muscles and the ability to speak again.

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