Stroke: Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

February 6, 2024
January 26, 2024
Stroke: Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

What is “Stroke”? 

A cerebral vascular attack (CVA), is when something has stopped oxygenation to brain tissue.  This can be caused by bleeding into the brain (hemorrhagic stroke) or when blood supply is disrupted/stopped in the brain causing an ischemic stroke. 

CVA can cause symptoms of: unilateral weakness, numbness, altered speech, vision changes, or speech changes. It is crucial to seek emergency care at your closest emergency room if you experience any of these symptoms! (Neura Health is not intended to be used for emergency situations such as this!)  There is a medication called Activase (alteplase) that you may be a candidate for to potentially try to reverse stroke symptoms, but must be taken within a 4 hr time window.


CT Scans showing hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke

Why Do Strokes Occur? 

Knowing why or what caused the CVA is an important factor for post stroke care. The two most common types of stroke are large vessel and small vessel stroke.

Large vessel or cardioembolic stroke is most commonly caused from an irregular heart rhythm, atrial fibrillation ("Afib") being the most common. Large vessel strokes can also be caused by plaque in the arteries, intracranial atherosclerosis or from a carotid artery stenosis. 

Small vessel strokes are most commonly in the brainstem and are caused by risk factors of hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and smoking. These are typically smaller strokes but can often have the most debilitating symptoms. 

Post-Stroke Recovery

Post stroke care can be such an important role in moving forward. Life is different and we are here to help! Physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy are often recommended for post stroke care. 

Knowing what medications to take for future prevention and what lifestyle modifications to take is important to discuss with your provider. Antiplatelets and/or anticoagulant therapies are often recommended as well as a statin medication.

If you would like to speak with a neurologist about post-stroke care to ensure you are doing what you can to prevent a future episode, Neura's stroke specialists are available to help! Book an appointment today.

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Leslie Carroll, NP
Leslie Carroll, APRN, FNP-C, is a certified family nurse practitioner with over 8 years of experience in neurology. At Neura, she treats stroke, concussion, tremor and other conditions.
About the Author
Leslie Carroll, APRN, FNP-C, is a certified family nurse practitioner with over 8 years of experience in neurology. She received her Master’s in Nursing from Union University and has spent her entire NP career working in inpatient and outpatient general neurology. She has extensive experience in stroke care. She also enjoys treating other neurological conditions, including concussion and tremor.

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