Ischemic Stroke

Also called: Embolic Stroke, Thrombotic stroke

A stroke is a medical emergency. There are two types - ischemic and hemorrhagic. Ischemic stroke is the most common type. It is usually caused by a blood clot that blocks or plugs a blood vessel in the brain. This keeps blood from flowing to the brain. Within minutes, brain cells begin to die. Another cause is stenosis, or narrowing of the artery. This can happen because of atherosclerosis, a disease in which plaque builds up inside your arteries. Transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) occur when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted briefly. Having a TIA can mean you are at risk for having a more serious stroke.

Symptoms of stroke are

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg (especially on one side of the body)
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause

It is important to treat strokes as quickly as possible. Blood thinners may be used to stop a stroke while it is happening by quickly dissolving the blood clot. Post-stroke rehabilitation can help people overcome disabilities caused by stroke damage.

NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Symptoms of Ischemic Stroke

The following features are indicative of Ischemic Stroke:
  • sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arm or leg
  • sudden trouble and confusion in speaking or understanding speech
  • sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • sudden trouble walking
  • sudden loss of balance
  • dizziness
  • sudden severe headache with no known cause
It is possible that Ischemic Stroke shows no physical symptoms and still is present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Ischemic Stroke

The following are the most common causes of Ischemic Stroke:
  • blood clot formation in arteries

Risk Factors for Ischemic Stroke

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Ischemic Stroke:
  • overweight
  • physically inactive
  • heavy or binge drinking
  • use of illicit drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamines
  • high blood pressure
  • cigarette smoking
  • high cholesterol
  • diabetes
  • obstructive sleep apnea
  • family history of stroke, heart attack or transient ischemic attack
  • being age 55 or older

Prevention of Ischemic Stroke

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Ischemic Stroke. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • control high blood pressure
  • managing stress
  • maintain a healthy weight
  • limit the amount of sodium and alcohol intake
  • quit tobacco use
  • controlling diabetes
  • eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables
  • exercise regularly
  • drinking alcohol in moderation

Occurrence of Ischemic Stroke

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Ischemic Stroke cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Ischemic Stroke most commonly occurs in the following age group:
  • Aged between 35-50 years

Common Gender

Ischemic Stroke can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Ischemic Stroke

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Ischemic Stroke:
  • Blood tests: To see how fast the blood clots
  • Computerized tomography (CT) scan: To create a detailed image of the brain
  • Magnetic resonance imaging: To create a detailed view of the brain
  • Carotid ultrasound: To create the detailed images of the inside of the carotid arteries in the neck
  • Cerebral angiogram: To see a detailed view of arteries in the brain and neck
  • Echocardiogram: To create the detailed images of the heart

Doctor for Diagnosis of Ischemic Stroke

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Ischemic Stroke:
  • Cardiologist
  • Neurologist

Complications of Ischemic Stroke if untreated

Yes, Ischemic Stroke causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Ischemic Stroke is left untreated:
  • paralysis
  • difficulty in talking or swallowing
  • memory loss or thinking difficulties
  • sensitive to temperature changes

Procedures for Treatment of Ischemic Stroke

The following procedures are used to treat Ischemic Stroke:
  • Mechanical clot removal: Remove the clot
  • Carotid endarterectomy: Removes the plaques from arteries

Self-care for Ischemic Stroke

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Ischemic Stroke:
  • Follow healthy diet: Help in the prevention of stroke
  • Maintain healthy weight: Decreases the risk of stroke
  • Regular physical activity: To help you stay at a healthy weight and keep the cholesterol and blood pressure levels in control
  • Quit smoking: Lowers the risk of stroke
  • Limit alcohol consumption: Avoid drinking too much alcohol reduces the risk

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Ischemic Stroke

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Ischemic Stroke:
  • Acupuncture therapy: Prevents the stroke recurrence

Patient Support for Treatment of Ischemic Stroke

The following actions may help Ischemic Stroke patients:
  • Join a support group: Meet others who are coping with a stroke
  • Freinds and Family: Let friends and family know what you need

Time for Treatment of Ischemic Stroke

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Ischemic Stroke to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • In 6 months - 1 year

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Ischemic Stroke.
Hemorrhagic Stroke
Stroke Rehabilitation

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