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What is a Hemorrhagic Stroke?

Aug 18, 2007
The hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel inside the brain bursts. The bleeding damages the surrounding brain tissue. The brain cells are much more gentle and sensitive than any other cells in the human body. The bleeding increases the pressure applied to the brain cells that surround the bleeding and this is what causes the damage.

The most common cause of hemorrhagic stroke is high blood pressure. Another cause is an aneurysm. It causes the blood vessel wall to become thinner and bust at some point. Stroke can also be caused by the accumulation of a protein called amyloid within the artery walls, particularly in the elderly. This makes the arteries more prone to bleeding.

Hemorrhagic strokes form nearly 20% of all stroke cases. It may occur in all ages and the average risk age is lower than the ischemic stroke risk age.

The symptoms of the hemorrhagic stroke include weakness or inability to move some part of the body, numbness or lost of sensation, decrease or lost vision, speech difficulties, disorientation and inability to recognize familiar faces, sudden headache, dizziness, etc.

The hemorrhagic stroke can be treated through a surgery or with medication only. Depending on the severity, treatment includes lifesaving measures, relief of symptoms and repair of the cause of the bleeding. Surgery can help reducing the brain damage caused by the stroke as well as quicken the recovery. Regardless of the treatment chosen a person who has suffered a hemorrhagic stroke needs a serious long term treatment. Most of the patients need physical therapy, other need behavior modification or family counseling.

There are different types of hemorrhagic stroke - subarachnoid hemorrhage and intracerebral hemorrhage. The subarachnoid hemorrhage occurs when a blood vessel in the area between the brain and the skull starts bleeding. The intracerebral hemorrhage occurs when a blood vessel deep inside the brain starts bleeding. Both types may be caused by structural problems with the arteries such as aneurysm or Arteriovenous Malformation.

The aneurysm is a week area in the blood vessel wall that fills with blood and bulges. High blood pressure or an injury may cause the bulge to rupture and start bleeding. Arteriovenous Malformation is a malformation of the brain's blood vessels. This kind of malformation is usually present since birth and develops slowly with time. It characterizes with weak blood vessels that increases the risk of a hemorrhagic stroke.

Strokes can be very scary.
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