Ischemic stroke- caused by restricted blood flow by embolism or thrombosis occuring Hemorrhagic stroke- caused by rupture of blood vessel in brain
What are strokes?
Defines the two different types of strokes and how they are caused. Provides a clear understanding of the two types accompanied by visual explanations. Also gives stats of how common each type is.
You've probably heard of
people having a stroke,
and you're probably familiar with the notion
that it has something to do
with the brain, and you'd be right.
In particular, it's a rapid loss of
brain function because of
something strange happening
with the blood flow to the brain.
And let me show you that
in a little bit more detail.
And to do that,
let's think about
the 2 major types of strokes.
There's the ischemic strokes,
and the other type of stroke
and these can kind of be sub-categorized,
but I won't go into all of the details there.
And if I really just define
ischemia and hemorrhaging to you,
I think you'll have an idea
of how these strokes are different
and how they interrupt the blood flow
to different parts of the brain.
You know from the videos on
stenosis and ischemia
and the videos on heart attacks
that ischemia is
a lack of blood flow
to certain body tissues.
So an ischemic stroke is actually
very, very similar to what we saw
in a heart attack,
except it's not occurring
in a coronary blood vessel,
it's occurring in a blood vessel
in the brain.
So let me draw that right over here.
Let's say that this is
a blood vessel in the brain.
And let's say that blood is flowing
in that direction (this is an artery).
And so you could imagine
that maybe there is a big blood clot
that forms in some part of the brain.
Let me do the blood clot in magenta.
This blood clot might form because --
no, that's not magenta --
the blood clot might form
because maybe there's a plaque there,
maybe the plaque got ruptured,
either way, this clot is restricting
the flow of blood.
And we know that this blood clot --
we can call this a thrombus,
or we could say that thrombosis
has occurred over here--
either way, the blood flow is restricted,
and the brain tissue that's further downstream
is not going to get its oxygen,
and it might die; it might experience infarction.
And that's why ischemic strokes are also
sometimes called cerebral infarctions.
These are all very fancy words,
but I think, hopefully, they're becoming
a little bit more common in our vocabulary,
they keep showing up over and over again.
And I also want to be clear:
most strokes are actually
The numbers I looked up, they say,
87% of strokes are ischemic.
Now, the other type of way
that you could have ischemia
in one of these blood vessels,
and this is completely analogous
to what we saw in the heart,
when we had heart attacks, is:
you could have thrombosis,
or you could also have an embolism.
Whenever someone says thrombosis,
or a thrombus, or thrombi,
they're talking about blood clots.
Whenever someone talks about
an embolus, or emboli, or embolism,
they're talking about something
moving through the blood
that eventually blocks a blood vessel.
So you can actually have
you can actually have a blood clot
that gets broken off --
so let me ignore this for now--
let me paint over it a little bit
so that this isn't the main cause of blockage--
but you could actually have a blood clot
that breaks off, becomes an embolus,
and since it's an embolus due to a blood clot,
you call it a thrombembolus --
I always have trouble saying all of these words--
and eventually it blocks an artery over here.
So this right here is an embolism,
but either way, you're blocking the blood flow
further down the brain,
[which] could cause infarction,
that brain tissue will die,
and whatever that brain tissue did
for mental function, or whatever,
is going to make it very hard
for this person who is experiencing this stroke
to do those things.
Now, it's not always noticeable,
that's called a silent stroke,
but damage is occurring.
The person experiencing the stroke--
and I'm not a doctor,
so take all of this with a grain of salt--
the person experiencing the stroke
could be anywhere from -
well, one, they may not even notice
that damage is occurring,
they might have a headache,
or it might be more severe,
they might actually
not be able to properly move
a side of their body,
or a side of their face,
or properly be able to speak,
so it really depends on what
part of the brain is being damaged.
But in either of these situations,
an ischemic stroke is caused by
some type of restriction or blockage
that causes things downstream to not
get proper oxygen, and then,
so you can imagine,
cells over here aren't going
to get their oxygen,
and then they might actually die.
A hemorrhagic stroke -
to hemorrhage means to bleed,
it's literally just a fancy word for bleeding-
and so in a hemorrhagic stroke
you have a situation where a blood vessel
can actually break, where you have a blood vessel-
I'm actually trying to draw
the same blood vessel- where it actually breaks.
We'll talk more in the future
of why a blood vessel might break -
strongly related to high blood pressure
and other risk factors,
but I don't want to get into that right now -
but you could imagine if a blood vessel breaks,
you have all this blood spewing into the brain
in, kind of, an uncontrolled way.
So let's say this little diagram
[that] I drew right here,
that part of the brain,
if you have a hemorrhagic stroke,
you have all of this blood
that's flowing into the brain,
and all of that uncontrolled blood
will mess up that part of the brain,
that causes those neurons
and brain tissue to malfunction
and maybe causes some of them to die,
and it would also cause
the blood flow further dowstream
to be impaired, so the stuff
downstream aren't going to get
the blood they need
because all the blood
is being released everywhere else.
And since 87% of strokes are ischemic strokes,
the remainder are hemorrhagic,
so this is the remaining 13% of strokes.
Log in to save your progress and obtain a certificate in Alison’s free Introduction to Common Medical Conditions online course
Sign up to save your progress and obtain a certificate in Alison’s free Introduction to Common Medical Conditions online course
Please enter you email address and we will mail you a link to reset your password.