What Causes a Stroke - Common Cause of Stroke
What Causes a Stroke - Common Cause of Stroke
Jun 26, 2009
This lesson discusses what causes a stroke and what can be done to prevent it.
Category: Disease & Illness
Classroom: Early Warning Signs Of A Stroke - Causes, Symptoms And Recovery

What Causes a Stroke - Common Cause of Stroke

When the blood vessels of the brain become blocked or ruptured, blood flow is dangerously jeopardized leading the cells to be deprived of oxygen rich blood an nutrients. Brain cells begin to die due to the lack of blood flow, taking with them functional abilites that took a life time to achieve. what causes a stroke and how can it be prevented?

The brain contains a cerebrovascular network that ensures the brain is adequately supplied with oxygen rich blood. When any part of this arterial network is damaged due to blockage or hemorrhage, the blood supply is severely disrupted resulting in a stroke.

hemorrhagic and Ischemic stroke

Causes of Stroke:

Hemorrhages: Hypertension is the main cause of stroke due to the increased pressure it imposes on the arteries. A hemorrhagic stroke is caused by a weakened spot in the artery wall that out pouches and eventually bursts from the force of the pressure. This is called an aneurysm. Blood then leaks through the rupture into the brain, preventing blood flow from reaching other areas.

Blockages: Occluded arteries are a result of narrowing due to plaque build up. In the brain, a thrombus that breaks loose from another area of the body can travel the vessel pathways to any area of the brain and lodge there causing an infarct (tissue death), or ischemia in that area. Of course, ischemia is followed by cell death, leading to loss of function in that area of the body the brain controlled.

Atrial fibrillation is a prime example of how a clot can form and travel to other parts of the body. A-fib is characterized by the rapid contractions of the atria of the heart causing blood clots to form. A-fib is treated with medications to slow the rate and blood thinners to prevent clots from forming.An infarct in the left hemisphere of the brain affects the right side of the body, and an infarct in the right side of the brain affects the left side of the body. Both the left and right hemispheres communicate with each other, and the right hemisphere will take over for the left, should the left suffer any damage.

Factors that lead to a stroke can be prevented in most all cases. Reducing risk factors and prevention go hand in hand, working together to avoid what can be a life altering occurrence in one's life.


The causes of stroke can be prevented in a variety of ways, all of which involve taking responsibility for self care, particularly if a person is at risk for stroke. Most all diseases that cause a stroke are preventable if we just make a commitment to take care of ourselves and be mindful what we put into our bodies.

Control high blood pressure: Is a very important aspect of preventing a stroke. Keep blood pressures within normal limits by taking your medication as prescribed, following a healthy diet, and getting regular exercise.

Control High cholesterol and triglyceride levels: Cholesterol is part of what makes up the plaque that clogs arteries. Plaque deposits can develop blood clots that grow and occlude arteries, additionally, pieces can break off and travel the bloodstream to lodge in the brain or other major organs causing damage from ischemia or death.

Control blood sugar: Gaining and maintaining control of blood sugar levels helps prevent complications of diabetes, as well as heart disease.

Eating a healthy diet: Changes in the way we eat can prevent many chronic diseases including some cancers. A diet containing fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables, whole grain breads and cereals, lean meats and fish, and foods that are low in fat and high in fiber. Eating fat-laden greasy fried foods is not a way to get and stay healthy, and is in fact detrimental to your health.

by Barb Hicks, RN/LMT

The One-Minute Cure: The Secret to Healing Virtually All Diseases


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The One-Minute Cure: The Secret to Healing Virtually All Diseases