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Ischemic Stroke


Stroke occurs when there is insufficient blood flow to the brain. This may occur for a variety of reasons. Strokes may be hemorrhagic (bleeding into the brain) or ischemic (blockage of a vessel depriving the brain of circulation - "infarction"). The mechanisms of damage to the brain in stroke are similar to those on the heart in a heart attack.

Stroke is the leading cause of disability and the third leading cause of death among adults in the United States with over 730,000 strokes occurring each year. There are approximately 3 million stroke survivors in the United States.

The importance of immediate medical care for persons experiencing stroke is now widely recognized. Efforts to educate the public and medical personnel alike are helping to improve outcome by encouraging prompt attention and treatment to reduce complications and disability.

A variety of treatment options are available. Medications are used in both the treatment of acute stroke and the prevention of subsequent strokes. Reperfusion therapy is aimed at improving blood flow to the ischemic region and thus limiting the size of the acute infarction. Direct intra-arterial infusion of antithrombolytic agents via a catheter delivers higher concentrations of drug directly to the clot however, this approach is considered experimental. Surgical interventions are also available. Rehabilitation is an important part of stroke treatment. It involves regaining optimal health and functional ability following a stroke.

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The Medifocus Guide on Ischemic Stroke provides answers to the following important questions and medical issues:

What Your Doctor Reads:

This MediFocus Guide contains an extensive listing of citations and abstracts of recent journal articles that have been published about this condition in trustworthy medical journals. This is the same type of information that is available to physicians and other health care professionals. A partial selection of journal articles that are abstracted in this MediFocus Guide includes:

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