The cause of a stroke is usually a large blood clot that has become stuck in a small diameter blood vessel that blocks blood flow to the brain tissue or a ruptured blood vessel that leads to hemorrhage of blood into the brain. A blood clot that travels to the brain (embolus) can become lodged inside or the small vessels of the brain. This ultimately leads to oxygen starvation (ischemia) of the brain and tissue death (ischemic or embolic stroke). A hemorrhagic stroke or cerebral hemorrhage occurs when blood vessels in the brain become weakened (usually due to high blood pressure) and rupture. When hemorrhage occurs, blood collects in the brain and creates pressure on vital tissues which restricts blood flow and leads to tissue death.
Symptoms of Stroke
Initially, the signs and symptoms stroke include facial drooping, arm weakness, difficulty with speech, confusion, and possibly a headache. Signs and symptoms following a stroke is directly related to the amount of permanent damage suffered by the brain. These symptoms may include, left or right sided weakness, left or right sided paralysis, trouble swallowing, trouble speaking, trouble walking, lack of muscle coordination, trouble with balance, ongoing confusion, slowed thought process and trouble making decisions.
Treating Stroke or Treatment of Stroke
Several medications are used to treat the symptoms of stroke. The brain damage caused by stoke is permanent which leads to a lesser quality of life for patients who suffer from significant stroke. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is commonly used to treat patients who suffer from stroke and has proven to be beneficial due to its ability to stimulate permanent new blood vessel growth (angiogenesis). These new vessels are able to provide long term benefit from increased blood flow and oxygenation to improve an individual’s physical endurance, mobility and brain function. In addition, HBOT significantly increase the amount of oxygen that is immediately available during each treatment. Many patients report improvement in alertness very early in the treatment process.