Read about stroke medical facts: what is the definition of stroke, what are the signs and symptoms, medical treatment & how to treat stroke, information about the causes, diagnosis, and related stroke diseases.

Definition: What is "Stroke"?


Stroke definition: The quick developing failure of brain functions because of a disturbance in the blood vessels that provide blood to the brain. This may happen because of ischemia which is caused by thrombosis or embolism or because of hemorrhage. Medically, stroke can be referred to as ictus which means "to strike" in Latin.

Symptoms & Signs

The FAST test is used to verify symptoms of stroke which is widely used by pre-hospital care professionals in UK. FAST means: Face - to see if there is anything "dropping" Arm - patient holds his arms out for 30 seconds to see if one of the arms moves down slowly Speech - to check for slurring Test all three - all three must be tested If three areas in the brain affected contain the corticospinal tract, spinothalamic tract & dorsal column symptoms may include numbness, muscle weakness in the face & decrease in sensory. Usually only one side of the body is affected with stroke. If the brainstem is affected symptoms include change in smell, hearing, taste or vision; eyelid is drooping, ocular muscles weakness, reduced reflexes & sensation, problems in balancing, change in breathing & heart rate, lack of ability to turn head to one side & tongue weakness.

Treatment: How to Treat "Stroke"?

Assessing the symptoms early is very helpful in treating stroke. Accepted treatments of stroke are operation such as carotis endarterectomy & angioplasty; medications such as anti-platelet drugs, anticoagulants; hospital care & rehabilitation.


Stroke is sometimes referred to as brain attack. For ischemic stroke it is caused by very little blood in the brain. For hemorrhagic stroke it is the total opposite wherein there is too much blood within the skull.


Neurological tests CT scans MRI scans Doppler ultrasound Arteriography

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