Cerebrovascular accident

From WikiMD's Wellness Encyclopedia

Cerebrovascular Accident (CVA), also known as a stroke, is a medical condition that occurs when blood flow to a part of the brain is interrupted or reduced, depriving brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients. Within minutes, brain cells begin to die.

Causes[edit | edit source]

Cerebrovascular accidents can be categorized into two main types: ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke. Ischemic strokes are caused by blockages or clots in the blood vessels in the brain, while hemorrhagic strokes are caused by bleeding in or around the brain.

Ischemic Stroke[edit | edit source]

Ischemic strokes account for about 87% of all strokes. They occur when a blood vessel supplying blood to the brain is obstructed. It can be further divided into two types: thrombotic and embolic strokes. Thrombotic stroke occurs when a blood clot (thrombus) forms in one of the arteries that supply blood to the brain. An embolic stroke occurs when a blood clot or other debris forms away from your brain — commonly in your heart — and is swept through your bloodstream to lodge in narrower brain arteries.

Hemorrhagic Stroke[edit | edit source]

Hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel in your brain leaks or ruptures. Brain hemorrhages can result from many conditions that affect your blood vessels, including uncontrolled high blood pressure (hypertension), overtreatment with anticoagulants and weak spots in your blood vessel walls (aneurysms).

Symptoms[edit | edit source]

Symptoms of a cerebrovascular accident depend on the area of the brain that's been affected and may include sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body, sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech, sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes, sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination, or sudden severe headache with no known cause.

Treatment[edit | edit source]

Treatment for cerebrovascular accident depends on whether it's ischemic or hemorrhagic. Treatment for ischemic stroke may include medications to break up clots, prevent clot formation, and reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Hemorrhagic stroke treatment may involve surgery to repair blood vessel abnormalities.

Prevention[edit | edit source]

Prevention of cerebrovascular accident involves managing key risk factors, including high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Lifestyle changes can also play a crucial role in stroke prevention.

See Also[edit | edit source]





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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD