What is a Stroke?

FAQs | Stroke Overview

What you need to know about a stroke

What is a stroke?

A stroke is when blood flow to the brain is interrupted, causing damage to the brain. The brain requires oxygen and nutrients from blood to survive. Without a constant supply of blood, brain cells will die within minutes. Strokes are emergency situations, and require immediate medical attention. There are two types of stroke: 

  • An ischemic stroke occurs when a clot blocks a vessel in the brain, which prevents blood supply to any areas of the brain supplied by that vessel.
  • A hemorrhagic stroke, on the other hand, is when a vessel ruptures. Oddly enough, blood is poisonous to the brain, so if any parts of the brain are exposed to blood during a hemorrhage, those parts of the brain will be damaged.

Rehabilitation after a stroke is possible. Recovery from a stroke depends on your health, the severity of the stroke, what part of the brain the stroke affected and how quickly you received medical attention. Please consult your doctor on the best way to receive rehabilitation from a stroke.

What are the warning signs of stroke?

Check out these warning signs from the Mayo Clinic.  If you experience any of these warning signs, contact a medical professional immediately – it’s always better safe than sorry! The faster you get treatment the better.

  • Trouble talking or understanding language
  • Paralysis or numbness, especially if it’s only on one side
  • Trouble with vision
  • Headache
  • Trouble walking

Many people also use the acronym FAST to quickly diagnose strokes. F, is their face drooping? A, do they have arm weakness? S, is their speech slurred? Then, T – it is time to call 911.

What causes a stroke and how can I avoid it?

There are many causes of stroke.

  • Disorders, such as AVM, Moyamoya, and cardiovascular disease (just to name a few) can cause strokes.
  • Lifestyle risks include being overweight and inactive, stress, smoking, overuse of alcohol, and use of illicit drugs.
  • Other medical risks include high blood pressure, cigarette smoking, high cholesterol, diabetes, and sleep apnea.

Older individuals are at a higher risk for stroke. Stroke is more common in women than men, and has a higher prevalence in African American, Hispanic, and Native American communities. Those who have a personal or family history of stroke are also likely to get a stroke. Though these factors cannot be managed or changed, it is important to be aware of them. 

What happens after a stroke?

What happens after a stroke is different for everyone. You may have trouble with one, some, or all of the following:

  • Language (speaking and/or understanding; written and/or spoken)
  • Memory
  • Attention
  • Movement
  • Sensation
  • Swallowing
  • Emotion
  • Behavior
  • Judgment

How can survivors of stroke regain skills for daily living?

Therapy has been proven to help recovery. Constant Therapy has been proven to help those who have suffered from stroke in their recovery process.Check out Constant Therapy‘s collection of evidence-based therapy activities and see which exercises might be best for you. Our app recommends a set of exercises or activities for you based on your specific areas of difficulty.  Our NeuroPerformance Engine customizes your activities based on your abilities. If a task is too easy, we’ll give you a harder one; if one is too tricky, we’ll go a little easier. Many stroke survivors have used Constant Therapy and reported meaningful results. In fact, Constant Therapy may even help detect warning signs for a second stroke. The road to recovery from stroke can be long and difficult, so it is important that you and your loved ones maintain positivity and mindfulness following this life-changing event.

Stroke demystified:
educational infographic

Stroke demystified: an educational infographic

How does Constant Therapy help survivors of a stroke?

Constant Therapy, an award-winning mobile program, uses patented AI technology to deliver personalized exercises that rebuild cognitive and speech function for individuals recovering from stroke. A clinical study of patients with aphasia, loss of language after a stroke, demonstrated improvement in stroke patients using Constant Therapy program.

Check out these posts from the BrainWire blog

Stroke Mama - Stroke Survivor

“I am better than my challenge”: Interview with Stroke Warrior & Constant Therapy user Erin Adelekun

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10 therapy tasks practiced most frequently by survivors of stroke

Aphasia Research

Identity and finding meaning and purpose after stroke

Learn more about stroke from these BrainWire posts.