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Types of Stroke

There are two types of strokes:

Ischemic stroke

Approximately 85 percent of strokes are ischemic strokes. Ischemic stroke is similar to a heart attack, except instead of the heart, it occurs in the blood vessels of the brain. A build-up of fatty deposits and cholesterol form a blockage in the vessels, hindering blood flow to the brain’s cells. The most common ischemic stroke is thrombotic stroke and embolic stroke.

  • Thrombotic stroke A thrombotic stroke takes place when blood clots form in the arteries that supply blood to the brain.
  • Embolic stroke An embolic stroke takes place when blood clots form somewhere in the body away from the brain – most frequently in the heart. The clot moves through the bloodstream and blocks narrow brain arteries.

Hemorrhagic stroke

A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when blood vessels in the brain ruptures, causing a hemorrhage. Brain hemorrhages are caused as a result of hypertension - as well as aneurysms. The most common types of hemorrhagic stroke are intracerebral hemorrhage and subarachnoid hemorrhage.

  • Intracerebral hemorrhage In an intracerebral hemorrhage, blood vessels burst in the brain and spill into surrounding brain tissue damaging brain cells and depriving them of blood. Intracerebral hemorrhages can be caused by hypertension, trauma or use of blood-thinning medications.
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage In a subarachnoid hemorrhage, an artery near the surface of the brain will burst, spilling in between the surface of the brain and skull, causing brain cell damage. This is usually noted by a severe headache.