Types of Stroke


There are two main types of stroke.

Ischaemic strokes happen when something blocks an artery that carries blood to the brain. There are several possible causes:

  • a blood clot forms in a main artery to the brain
  • a blood clot, air bubble or fat globule forms in a blood vessel and is carried to the brain
  • there is a blockage in the tiny bloody vessels deep inside the brain.

P05_b_HaemorrageHaemorrhagic strokes happen when
a blood vessel bursts and bleeds into
the brain (a haemorrhage).

The haemorrhage may be due to:

  • a vessel bursting within the brain itself, or
  • a blood vessel on the surface of the brain bleeding into the area between the brain and the skull.

Temporary symptoms may indicate a mini-stroke
TIA or transient ischaemic attack is known as a mini-stroke. It is the same as a stroke, except that the symptoms last for a short amount of time and no longer than 24 hours. This is because the blockage in your artery is temporary – it either dissolves on its own or moves, so that the blood supply returns to normal and your symptoms disappear.

Although the symptoms may not last long, a TIA is still very serious. It is a sign that there is a problem and you are at risk of going on to have a stroke that could cause you considerable harm. Because of this it is often called a ‘warning stroke’. So don’t ignore it. Get it treated urgently.


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