Dr. Nishant Shanker Yagnick

Senior Consultant - Neurosurgery

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Dr. Nishant Shanker Yagnick

Senior Consultant - Neurosurgery

Manipal Hospitals, Gurugram

Stroke Signs And Symptoms

Posted On: May 24, 2024

blogs read 3 Min Read

Stroke Signs and Symptoms

Stroke is a serious medical condition that occurs when blood flow to part of the brain is interrupted. This can happen due to a blockage in an artery (ischemic stroke) or bleeding from a ruptured blood vessel (hemorrhagic stroke). Brain cells that are deprived of oxygen and nutrients start to die within minutes, leading to lasting brain damage and potential disability.


Types of Stroke

  • Ischemic Stroke (85% of strokes): An ischemic stroke is when a blood clot blocks an artery leading to the brain, interrupting blood flow. This can be caused by:

    • Atherosclerosis (plaque buildup in arteries)
    • Blood clots travelling from other parts of the body
  • Hemorrhagic Stroke (15% of strokes): A weakened blood vessel in the brain bursts, causing bleeding in the brain tissue. This can be caused by:

    • High blood pressure
    • Aneurysm (weak spot in a blood vessel wall)
    • Arteriovenous malformation (an abnormal tangle of blood vessels)

Risk Factors for Stroke

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Family history of stroke
  • Certain medical conditions like atrial fibrillation (Irregular Heartbeat)

How to prevent damage?

Remembering the stroke symptoms is crucial as early action can significantly improve the outcome. Here's a breakdown of the key things to watch for:

FAST is an easy acronym to remember the most common stroke symptoms:

  • F - Face Drooping: Does one side of the face droop or feel numb? Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face seem to sag?
  • A-Arm Weakness: Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • S - Speech Difficulty: Is speech slurred or difficult to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Does their speech sound different from normal?
  • T - Time to Call Emergency Helpline: If you observe any of these signs, call emergency services immediately. Every minute counts in stroke treatment.

Additional Stroke Symptoms

  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause
  • Sudden confusion, trouble understanding, or difficulty speaking
  • Sudden vision problems in one or both eyes
  • Difficulty walking, dizziness, or loss of balance

 Not everyone experiences all of these symptoms, and the severity can vary. However, if you suspect someone might be having a stroke, err on the side of caution and call emergency services immediately.

Here are some additional points to consider:

  • Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA): Sometimes, stroke symptoms appear briefly and then resolve on their own within an hour. This is called a TIA (mini-stroke) and is a warning sign that a major stroke could occur. If you experience TIA symptoms, seek medical attention promptly.

  • Stroke in Men vs. Women: While the FAST signs apply to everyone, women may experience additional symptoms like sudden weakness, fainting, or difficulty breathing during a stroke.

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