Stroke is a medical condition in which the brain does not receive enough oxygen and nutrients which cause brain cells to die. It occurs due to blockage or clot formation in blood vessel of the brain. Clot may be due to development of fatty deposits in the linings of blood vessels or ruptured blood vessels. It should immediately be treated or can be fatal.
Brain stroke is diagnosed by the following tests –
1. Physical examination – it is done by checking your blood pressure and listening to your heartbeat. Ophthalmoscope may also be used to check for the signs of tiny cholesterol or clots in the blood vessels at the back of your eyes.
2. CT scan – a series of X-rays are used to give a detailed image of your brain. It is used to detect a hemorrhage and stroke.
3. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) – an MRI uses powerful radio waves and magnets to create a detailed view of your brain. It detects brain tissue damage done by ischemic stroke and hemorrhages.
4. Echocardiogram – it uses sound waves to find a source of clots in the heart that may have traveled from your heart to your brain.
It is first treated with the help of medications. They must start within 4.5 hours if they are given into the vein. Intravenous injection of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) – it is the gold treatment of for ischemic stroke. It is given through the vein in the arm. It restores blood flow by dissolving the blood clot.
To decrease the occurrence of another ischemic stroke, your doctor may suggest carotid endarterectomy. In this procedure, plaques from the arteries are removed. Angioplasty along with stents is used to navigate the carotid arteries in your neck.
Medication in the form of anti platelet drugs such as Plavix is given to prevent blood clots. If the area of the bleeding is large, then surgery is performed to remove the blood and relieve the pressure on your brain. Some of the methods to perform surgical blood vessel repair are surgical clipping, coiling, surgical AVM removal, stereotactic radiosurgery etc.