What is Stroke?
A stroke, sometimes called a "brain attack," occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted. When a stroke occurs, brain cells in the immediate area begin to die because they stop getting the oxygen and nutrients they need to function.
An ischemic stroke (pronounced "is-skee-mick") is caused by a blood clot that blocks or plugs a blood vessel or artery in the brain. About 87 percent of all strokes are ischemic.
A hemorrhagic stroke is caused by a blood vessel in the brain that breaks and bleeds into the brain. About 13 percent of strokes are hemorrhagic.
Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)
A transient ischemic attack (TIA) is a transient stroke that lasts only a few minutes. It occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is briefly interrupted. TIA symptoms, which usually occur suddenly, are similar to those of stroke but do not last as long. Most symptoms of a TIA disappear within an hour, although they may persist for up to 24 hours.
TIAs are often warning signs that a person is at risk for a more serious and debilitating stroke. About one-third of those who have a TIA will have an acute stroke some time in the future. Many strokes can be prevented by heeding the warning signs of TIAs and treating underlying risk factors.
TIAs are serious and should be evaluated urgently. Take precaution if you experience the symptoms of TIA and dial 911 immediately.