Home Diseases & Conditions 3 Types of Stroke – Ischemic, Hemorrhagic & TIA

3 Types of Stroke – Ischemic, Hemorrhagic & TIA

Stroke is a clinical condition that occurs when there is deprivation of the brain cells of ‘essential’ oxygen, usually due to obstruction of blood flow to the brain.



The types of stroke include the following:

Hemorrhagic Stroke

This occurs when a blood vessel, usually an artery in the brain, breaks open and/or leaks blood. The blood leaked by such an artery raises the intracranial pressure, causes the brain to swell, and in effect damages the brain cells and tissues.

Two major subtypes of hemorrhagic stroke exist namely intracerebral – meaning within the brain substance and subarachnoid – meaning underneath the arachnoid layer; one of the three layers of the brain that separates the brain substance from the cranial bones.

Ischemic Stroke

This is caused by the narrowing or blockage of the arteries supplying blood to the brain. These blockages could be caused by blood clots traveling from a distant source in the body (called the embolic subtype) or blood clots created ab initio in the affected blood vessel ( called the thrombotic subtype). The narrowing is usually caused by atherosclerotic plaques deposited in the inner layer of the affected arteries, effectively reducing their diameter over time.

Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)

A transient ischemic attack also called a mini-stroke, occurs when blood flow to the brain is momentarily blocked. Symptoms are similar to those of hemorrhagic and ischemic types, however, these symptoms go away after a brief period, hence the name “transient”.
TIAs are usually caused by blood clots. They usually predict the possibility of a full stroke occurring in the near future, so DO NOT IGNORE A TIA!

When to see a doctor

Do not hesitate to dial 911 if you or anyone around you experiences the symptoms of stroke, even if the symptoms are TRANSIENT. Ensure you, or the affected individual gets to a health care facility as soon as possible as this determines the chances of surviving the event as well as determining the post-event sequelae.


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