Strokes not only have many effects on the victim, but they also have many causes. There are five types of stroke: ischemic, hemorrhagic, transient ischemic attack (TIA), cryptogenic and brain stem.
• Ischemic strokes are the most common type of stroke, accounting for 87% of stroke cases. These strokes occur when blood flow to the brain is blocked by a clot in the blood vessels.
• Hemorrhagic strokes account for 13% of stroke cases. These strokes are caused by blood vessels rupturing. The blood from the ruptured vessel bleeds into the brain, leading to the blood accumulating and compressing the tissue of the brain.
• TIAs are often ignored due to their symptoms only lasting a few minutes at a time. Often referred to as mini-strokes, TIAs are caused by a short-term blockage in the blood vessel supplying blood to the brain and can be warning signs for a larger stroke to come. TIAs occur in 12% of stroke cases.
• Cryptogenic strokes are strokes that do not have a known cause and occur most often in people of African American and Hispanic descent.
• Brain stem strokes occur at the brain stem, which is only a half-inch in diameter. These strokes can cause severe symptoms as the brain stem controls all basic nervous system activities.