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Stroke, also called brain attack or cerebral infarction, is a very serious condition in which the brain is not receiving enough oxygen to function properly. Stroke often results in permanent serious complications and disability and is a common cause of death. It is the second leading cause of death worldwide and the third leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the American Heart Association.
The brain requires a steady supply of oxygen in order to pump blood effectively to all of the body. Oxygen is supplied to the brain in the blood that flows through arteries. If an artery that supplies blood to the brain becomes blocked or ruptured or begins to leak, the portion of the brain that gets its oxygen-rich blood from that specific artery becomes damaged. This injury can become permanent within minutes and result in the death of the affected brain tissue. Medically this is called cerebral necrosis.
Stroke cause by cerebral thrombosis is one cause of ischemic stroke and is the result of a build-up of plaque and inflammation in the arteries, called atherosclerosis. This process narrows the brain arteries and lowers the amount of oxygen-rich blood that reaches the brain tissue. Arteries narrowed by atherosclerosis are more likely to develop a blood clot that completely blocks blood flow to an area of the brain. Risk factors for atherosclerosis include having high cholesterol, diabetes, and hypertension.
Stroke cause by cerebral embolism is another cause of ischemic stroke. It is caused by clot that forms in another part of the body and travels in the bloodstream to a brain artery and blocks the flow of blood to the brain. Stroke caused by cerebral hemorrhage occurs when a brain artery breaks or leaks blood into the surrounding brain tissue.
The extent of the damage done to the brain and resulting symptoms of a stroke vary depending on the cause of stroke, the area or areas affected, and how much time passes before stroke is treated. Complications of stroke include permanent neurological damage, disability and death. For more information on symptoms and complications, refer to symptoms of stroke.
Risk factors for stroke include a having hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol and obesity. Other risk factors include being of African-American ancestry, male, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, smoking and having a family history of heart disease or stroke. Having a brain aneurysm puts a person at an extreme risk for hemorrhagic stroke.
Making a diagnosis of stroke includes completing a complete medical evaluation and history and physical examination, including a neurological examination. This is often done in an emergency room.
Diagnostic testing includes imaging tests, such as a CT or, MRI and cerebral angiogram of the brain. A cerebral angiogram reveals obstructed or narrowed arteries in the brain and can show blood flow.
It is possible that a diagnosis of stroke can be missed or delayed because sometimes the symptoms may be mild and attributed to other conditions. For more information on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagnosis of stroke.
Stroke symptoms: There are various causes of stroke-like symptoms including stroke, transient ischemic attacks (mini-strokes) and several other serious conditions. Stroke is a form of cerebrovascular disease affecting arteries in the...more »
In some cases a diagnosis of stroke may be overlooked or delayed because symptoms of stroke or of a transient ischemic attack may be mild or vague. Symptoms may be attributed to such conditions as aging or migraine headache. In addition, some people delay seeking medical care, even for sudden dramatic symptoms, for a variety of reasons, such as thinking it ...more misdiagnosis »
Home medical tests possibly related to Stroke symptoms:
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Listed below are some combinations of symptoms associated with Stroke symptoms, as listed in our database. Visit the Symptom Checker, to add and remove symptoms and research your condition.
The most effective stroke treatment plan uses a multifaceted approach. This includes preventive care aimed at minimizing the risk factors for having a stroke or a recurrent stroke. Preventive measures include regular medical care to monitor and address such risk factors as high cholesterol, obesity, smoking, diabetes, hypertension and excessive alcohol consumption.
Some of the possible treatments listed in sources for treatment of Stroke symptoms may include:
Review further information on Stroke symptoms Treatments.
Alternative treatments or home remedies that have been listed as possibly helpful for Stroke symptoms may include:
Symptom specific forums: The following patient stories in our interactive forums and message boards relate to Stroke symptoms or relevant symptoms:
The following drugs, medications, substances or toxins are some of the possible
causes of Stroke symptoms as a symptom.
Always advise your doctor of any medications or treatments you are using,
including prescription, over-the-counter, supplements, herbal or alternative treatments.
When combined, certain drugs, medications, substances or toxins may react causing Stroke symptoms as a symptom. Always advise your doctor of any medications or treatments you are using, including prescription, over-the-counter, supplements, herbal or alternative treatments.
Some of the comorbid or associated medical symptoms for Stroke symptoms may include these symptoms:
Research the causes of these more general types of symptom:
Research the causes of related medical symptoms such as:
Research the causes of these symptoms that are similar to, or related to, the symptom Stroke symptoms:
Read more about causes and Stroke symptoms deaths.
Undiagnosed stroke leads to misdiagnosed aphasia: BBC News UK reported on a man who had been institutionalized and treated for mental illness because he suffered from sudden inability to speak. This was initially misdiagnosed as a "nervous breakdown"...read more »
Alzheimer's disease over-diagnosed: The well-known disease of Alzheimer's disease is often over-diagnosed. Patients tend to assume that any memory loss or forgetulness symptom might be Alzheimer's, whereas there are many other less severe...read more »
Dementia may be a drug interaction: A common scenario in aged care is for a patient to show mental decline to dementia. Whereas this can, of course, occur due to various medical conditions, such as a stroke or Alzheimer's disease, it can also occur...read more »
Tremor need not be Parkinson's disease: There is the tendency to believe that any tremor symptom, or shakiness, means Parkinson's disease. The reality is that there are various possibilities, such as benign...read more »
Mild traumatic brain injury often remains undiagnosed: Although the symptoms of severe brain injury are hard to miss, it is less clear for milder injuries, or even those causing a mild concussion diagnosis. The...read more »
MTBI misdiagnosed as balance problem: When a person has symptoms such as vertigo or dizziness, a diagnosis of brain injury may go overlooked. This is particularly true of mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI), for which the symptoms...read more »
Rare diseases misdiagnosed as Parkinson's disease: A rare genetic disorder is often misdiagnosed as Parkinson's disease for men in their 50's. The disease Fragile X disorder can show only mild symptoms in the early years, and Parkinsons-like...read more »
Brain pressure condition often misdiagnosed as dementia: A condition that results from an excessive pressure of CSF within the brain is often misdiagnosed....read more »
Post-concussive brain injury often misdiagnosed: A study found that soldiers who had suffered a concussive injury in battle often were misdiagnosed on their return...read more »
Children with migraine often misdiagnosed: A migraine often fails to be correctly diagnosed in pediatric patients. These patients are not the typical migraine sufferers, but migraines can also occur in children. See misdiagnosis of migraine or introduction to...read more »
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Other medical conditions listed in the Disease Database as possible
causes of Stroke symptoms as a symptom include:
A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the part of the brain is suddenly interrupted (ischemic) or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts, spilling blood into the spaces surrounding the brain cells (hemorrhagic). (Source: excerpt from NINDS Stroke Information Page: NINDS)
A stroke is sometimes called a "brain attack." A stroke can injure the brain like a heart attack can injure the heart. Stroke is the result of cerebrovascular disease—disease of the blood vessels in the brain. (Source: excerpt from Stroke: NWHIC)
A stroke (sometimes called a "brain attack") happens when blood circulation to the brain fails. A few minutes without oxygen and important nutrients from the blood can damage or kill affected brain cells. Sometimes cell damage can be repaired and some lost skills regained. However, the death of brain cells is permanent. (Source: excerpt from Stroke Prevention and Treatment -- Age Page -- Health Information: NIA)
A sudden, nonconvulsive loss of neurologic function due to an ischemic or hemorrhagic intracranial vascular event. In general, cerebrovascular accidents are classified by anatomic location in the brain, vascular distribution, etiology, age of the affected individual, and hemorrhagic vs. nonhemorrhagic nature. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, pp777-810)
- (Source - Diseases Database)
The list below shows some of the causes of Stroke symptoms mentioned in various sources:
This information refers to the general prevalence and incidence of these diseases, not to how likely they are to be the actual cause of Stroke symptoms. Of the 192 causes of Stroke symptoms that we have listed, we have the following prevalence/incidence information:
The following list of conditions have 'Stroke symptoms' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.
Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Stroke symptoms or choose View All.
The following list of medical conditions have Stroke symptoms or similar listed as a medical complication in our database. The distinction between a symptom and complication is not always clear, and conditions mentioning this symptom as a complication may also be relevant. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.
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This information shows analysis of the list of causes of Stroke symptoms based
on whether certain risk factors apply to the patient:
Depending on the seriousness of the onset of Stroke symptoms, you may want to consult one of the following medical professionals.
Important:In extreme cases, always seek advice from emergency services :
Subtypes of Stroke symptoms:
Medical Conditions associated with Stroke symptoms:
Cerebrovascular symptoms (161 causes), Brain symptoms (2787 causes), Blood vessel symptoms (480 causes), Circulatory system symptoms (1579 causes), Neurological symptoms (9575 causes), Head symptoms (10192 causes), Nerve symptoms (9132 causes)
Symptoms related to Stroke symptoms:
Paralysis (325 causes), Paresthesias (453 causes), Stroke (192 causes), Transient ischemic attacks (23 causes), Protein amyloidosis, Accelerated hypertension, Alès dysfibrinogenemia, Amphetamine abuse, Amyloidosis VII
Doctor-patient articles related to symptoms and diagnosis:
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Our news pages contain the following medical news summaries about Stroke symptoms and many other medical conditions:
Medical research papers related to Stroke symptoms include:
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