STROKE 101
Woman & Home Feel Good You|May 2020
Strokes cause twice as many deaths in women as breast cancer*, so it's time to get clued up
DR EMER MACSWEENEY

May marks Action on Stroke month and with someone in the UK affected every five minutes, it’s vital we educate ourselves about strokes. A stroke ‘occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off, causing brain cells to die,’ says Dr Emer MacSweeney, consultant neuroradiologist**. ‘Functions controlled by that part of the brain, such as movement or speech, are lost as a result.’

TYPES OF STROKE

There are two main types of stroke: ischaemic strokes (accounting for 85% of all cases), which is caused by blockages that stop the blood supply to parts of the brain; and haemorrhagic strokes, which occur when a blood vessel bursts within, or on the surface, of the brain. Haemorrhagic strokes are often more critical than ischaemic stokes, and within the first three months following an attack and beyond, individuals will be at greater risk of death. There’s also a transient ischaemic attack (TIA) or ‘ministroke’ which is caused by temporary interruption of the blood supply to the brain, with symptoms lasting less than 24 hours. Within a week of having a TIA, 1 in 12 people will have a full stroke.

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