Stroke and Aneurysm

May is Stroke Awareness Month and a good time to review the symptoms of stroke.  Never ignore these symptoms.  Call 9-1-1 and let your neurological team determine the best course of action.

• sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg, especially on one side
• sudden dizziness, confusion, loss of balance
• sudden blurred vision or loss of vision
• sudden, severe headache

Stroke and Aneurysm

There are two types of stroke: ischemic and hemorrhagic. People who are suffering ischemic strokes – which occur when a blood clot blocks the flow of blood to the brain – should be given a “clot-busting” drug such as tPA (tissue plasminogen activator) within the first few hours of the onset of symptoms.

Patients whose strokes are hemorrhagic, in which bleeding occurs in the brain, must not receive tPA. Their treatment may include emergency surgery to drain blood and clip a ruptured artery or aneurysm.

Culicchia Neurological Interventional Neuroradiologist Robert Dawson, MD has decades of experience repairing ruptured aneurysms, a type of hemorrhagic stroke. In the video below, he describes what most patients feel when an aneurysm starts to bleed.

An aneurysm is the result of a weak spot in the blood vessel wall similar to an “egg” that appears in a tire. As time passes, this weak spot will balloon out making the wall of the blood vessel thinner and thinner. If it ruptures, blood leaks into or around the brain. When the blood leaks into the brain it is called an intracerebral hemorrhage. When the blood leaks around the brain it is called a subarachnoid hemorrhage. About 5 % of the population has an aneurysm.

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