Strokes and HeadachesStrokes and Headaches

Strokes and Headaches

A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts. When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood (and oxygen) it needs, so it starts to die.  Stokes are the No. 3 cause of death in the United States, behind diseases of the heart and cancer. 

What are the types of stroke?

Stroke can be caused either by a clot obstructing the flow of blood to the brain (called an ischemic stroke) or by a blood vessel rupturing and preventing blood flow to the brain (called a hemorrhagic stroke). A TIA (transient ischemic attack), or “mini stroke”, is caused by a temporary clot. 

What are the effects of stroke?

The brain is an extremely complex organ that controls various body functions.  If a stroke occurs and blood flow can’t reach the region that controls a particular body function, that part of the body won’t work as it should.

Right Brain

The effects of a stroke depend on several factors, including the location of the obstruction and how much brain tissue is affected. However, because one side of the brain controls the opposite side of the body, a stroke affecting one side will result in neurological complications on the side of the body it affects. For example, if the stroke occurs in the brain’s right side, the left side of the body (and the right side of the face) will be affected, which could produce any or all of the following:

  • Paralysis on the left side of the body   
  • Vision problems   
  • Quick, inquisitive behavioral style   
  • Memory loss
 
Left Brain 

If the stroke occurs in the left side of the brain, the right side of the body will be affected, producing some or all of the following:

  • Paralysis on the right side of the body   
  • Speech/language problems   
  • Slow, cautious behavioral style   
  • Memory loss

 

For more information on strokes visit www.strokeassociation.org

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