Types of Stroke

Types of StrokeThe two massive types of stroke are Ischemic and Hemorrhagic which also have variations within both of these. There is also another type of stroke called TIA (transient ischemic attack) which is a mild stroke that could lead on to a major stroke.
Ischemic stroke is the most widespread which accounts for over 80% of all strokes. It is caused by the blood supply being decreased to a part of the brain leading to impaired brain tissue in that area. This is usually caused by a blood clot which causes a blood vessel to be blocked. The blockage is due to a build-up of cholesterol and fat which is called atherosclerosis. Brain cells are damaged due to blood not getting to the brain and not receiving the amount of oxygen and nutrients that the brain needs.

Ischemic, Hemorrhagic and TIA

There are two types of ischemic stroke which depends on where the blood clot is:

• Thrombotic stroke (Clots inside a blocked blood vessel in the brain)
• Embolic stroke (Clots somewhere in the body that travel to the brain and gets blocked in a narrow artery)

A stroke without an obvious explanation is a cryptogenic; this constitutes 30-40% of all ischemic strokes.
Hemorrhagic stroke is a less common type of stroke but has a higher risk of death due to being harder to treat. It is an intracranial hemorrhage which is the accumulation of the blood in the skull. It is when a weak part of the blood vessel expands and ruptures which causes bleeding in the brain.This can be often traced to high blood pressure but can also be caused by an aneurysm.

Hemorrhagic stroke has two types:

• Cerebral hemorrhage (An artery in the brain breaks open which causes blood to surround tissue)
• Subarachnoid hemorrhage (Bleeding between the skull and brain, but the blood does not enter tissue)

In both cases there is no blood supply to the brain and the build-up of blood causes a huge pressure, which causes the brain to stop working.

TIA (transient ischemic attack) is normally called to as a mini stroke which could lead to a serious stroke and cause damage in the future. TIA is a mild strokewhich in general causes no damage and is due to a loss of blood flow to the brain, spinal cord or eye (retinal) without tissue death. This produces temporary stroke symptoms that go away.

Having a TIA means you should seek immediate emergency help and make changes to stop a serious stroke in the future.

Other Types of Stroke

There are a range of other strokes that fall in to the above types of stroke. These include:

Silent stroke does not have any symptoms and are unable to tell if you have had a stroke, but still causes certain brain damage. However it can lead to an increased risk to a TIA or a major stroke in the future.

Lacunar stroke occurs deep in the brain, like a thalamic stroke or basal ganglia stroke. The deep brain structure has a flow of blood through a block of unique arteries which becomes blocked. Lacunar strokes make up a fifth of all strokes.

MCA stroke (middle cerebral artery) occurs when the MCA is blocked which lessen or even stop the flow of blood to parts of the brain. MCA strokes happen most often out of all stroke types.

Brain stem stroke are classed as one of the most serious type of stroke. The brain stem is part of the nervous system that connects the cerebellum and spinal cord to the brain which is what causes paralysis when the body has a stroke. A stroke that can happen within the brain stem is a pontine stroke which is caused by a hemorrhage. The cerebellum can also be affected by stroke and is called a cerebellar stroke. Due to the nature of this stroke it is considered life threatening.