Stroke Channel
Topics & Medications
Quicklinks
Related Channels

Ischemic Stroke

An ischemic stroke is a type of stroke in which not enough oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood reaches the brain. Accounting for about 80 percent of all strokes, this type of stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain or neck becomes severely narrowed or blocked. Risk factors include having high blood pressure, being African American, and smoking. Symptoms of such a stroke may include sudden confusion, dizziness, and numbness in the limbs or face. Treatment often involves thrombolytic ("clot-busting") drugs, stroke rehabilitation, and lifestyle changes.

What Is an Ischemic Stroke?

An ischemic stroke is a type of stroke that occurs when not enough essential oxygen- and nutrient- rich blood is able to get to certain parts of the brain for a long enough period of time that brain tissue is damaged and eventually dies (known medically as a brain infarction). Ischemic strokes account for approximately 80 percent of all strokes. The second main type of stroke -- hemorrhagic stroke -- accounts for the other 20 percent of strokes.
 

What Causes It?

An ischemic stroke occurs because a blood vessel in the brain or neck becomes severely narrowed or blocked. There are a several ways in which a blood vessel in the brain may become severely narrowed or blocked. The two most common are an embolism and thrombosis. An embolism occurs when a blood clot or other tissue from another part of the body (such as the heart) moves through the blood into to the neck or brain.
 
In thrombosis, a blood clot (known as a thrombus) forms within a blood vessel of the brain or neck. Unlike an embolism, with thrombosis, the blood clot does not break free.
 
A third way that a blood vessel can become narrowed or blocked involves stenosis. Stenosis is severe narrowing of an artery in or leading to the brain. Stenosis is most often caused by a plaque buildup.
 
(Click Stroke Causes to learn about specific causes for narrowing or blocked arteries.)
 
10 Foods That Lower Cholesterol

Stroke Information

Referring Pages:
Terms of Use
Advertise with Us
Contact Us
About eMedTV
Privacy Policy
Copyright © 2006-2017 Clinaero, Inc.
eMedTV serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind. Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician. Click Terms of Use for more information.