Every year around 795,000 Americans have a stroke, some with devastating effects. Jitesh Kar, MD, a board-certified and fellowship-trained neurologist at the Neurology Institute of Huntsville in Huntsville, Alabama, diagnoses strokes and provides customized treatment to help you recover and reduce your risk of future stroke. Call the Neurology Institute of Huntsville, or schedule a consultation online today.
A stroke occurs when a blood clot or a ruptured blood vessel obstructs the flow of blood to your brain. This deprives your brain of oxygen and other nutrients, damaging and killing brain cells. There are several different types of strokes:
Ischemic strokes account for 87% of strokes, making it the most common type. An ischemic stroke occurs when one of the blood vessels feeding your brain is blocked. The blockage could be due to atherosclerosis — a buildup of fatty deposits inside your blood vessel — or blood clots. Often, blood clots form elsewhere in your circulatory system, eventually shooting to your brain and blocking local blood flow.
Most of the remaining 13% of strokes are hemorrhagic, which means they occur when a weak blood vessel in your brain bursts and bleeds into the surrounding tissue. Hemorrhagic strokes are due to aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations (AVM). Aneurysms are bulges in sections of weakened blood vessels. AVMs are tangled blood vessels that divert arterial blood into your veins instead of into capillaries that feed your brain tissue.
TIAs are sometimes called mini-strokes. It’s a temporary blockage of blood flow to your brain that doesn’t cause permanent damage but warns of an elevated risk for a full-blown stroke.
The most common warning signs of a stroke are known by the acronym FAST:
Other signs of a stroke include sudden numbness, confusion, vision distorting, and headache. You might also have trouble walking, lose coordination, or feel dizzy.
If you or someone near you experiences signs of a stroke, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room right away. Rapid treatment is critical to protecting your life and limiting the effects of a stroke.
At the Neurology Institute of Huntsville, Dr. Kar provides expert, personalized care to help you recover from a stroke and reduce your risk of recurrent strokes.
Following a thorough exam, he might prescribe medication to prevent blood clots, either by lowering coagulation or stopping your platelets from sticking together.
Dr. Kar might also recommend treatments or lifestyle adjustments to address other medical conditions that can increase your risk of stroke, like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. Many patients need rehabilitation following a stroke to recover from or learn to cope with paralysis or other mobility limitations.
In severe cases, Dr. Kar might recommend surgery, such as stenting or craniotomy. He can also recommend brain surgery to repair an aneurysm or AVM.
If you’ve had a stroke or are at risk and need expert neurological care, call the Neurology Institute of Huntsville, or make an appointment online today.