ABC Medical Center > Digital magazine > The differences between the types of stroke

The differences between the types of stroke

9 November 2022

Key points:

  • Ischemic stroke occurs when a clot or debris blocks the blood flow to the brain.

  • Hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel leading to the brain ruptures, resulting in a leak.

  • A transient ischemic attack (TIA) is a temporary disturbance in brain function that can last less than an hour.

A stroke, also called cerebral infarction or CVE (Cerebral Vascular Event), is a medical emergency and must be immediately treated due to the interruption or reduction of the blood supply to a part of the brain.

Due to its origin, there are two main types of cerebrovascular events: Ischemic stroke which occurs due to blockage in an artery, and hemorrhagic stroke as a result of a rupture or leak in a blood vessel.

In Mexico, stroke has become very relevant in recent years, due to causing general morbidity and mortality. It is estimated that stroke contributes to half of the neurological problems treated in general hospitals. In our country, one in six people will have an episode of this condition throughout their lives.1

In some cases, the person may experience a temporary interruption in blood flow to the brain, this is known as a transient ischemic attack and usually does not cause permanent damage.

Ischemic stroke

Ischemic stroke is the most common and occurs as a result of a clot or fatty deposit that blocks a blood vessel in the brain. As a result, it prevents blood from flowing to the organ, and within minutes the brain cells begin to die.

Hemorrhagic stroke

This event occurs when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures or leaks and can be the result of many blood vessel conditions. Different factors have been related to hemorrhagic stroke such as:

  • Aneurysms.
  • Cerebral amyloid angiopathy.
  • Arteriovenous malformation.
  • High and uncontrolled blood pressure.
  • Overtreatment with anticoagulants.
  • Head injury.
  • An ischemic stroke that causes bleeding.

Transient ischemic attack

It may also be known as a mini-stroke; it is a brief period of symptoms similar to those of a stroke, but in this case, it does not cause permanent damage and occurs due to a temporary decrease in the blood supply to a part of the brain, which can last less than an hour.

It also occurs when a clot or debris blocks blood flow to part of the nervous system.

Risk factors for a stroke

Many factors can increase the risk of suffering a stroke and that can previously be treated:

  • Some cardiovascular diseases.
  • Family or personal history of stroke.
  • Obstructive sleep apnea.
  • Drinking alcohol in excess.
  • High cholesterol.
  • Diabetes.
  • Smoking or being exposed to secondhand smoke.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Physical inactivity.
  • COVID-19 infection.
  • Overweight or obesity.
  • Use of drugs such as cocaine or methamphetamine.

Symptoms of a stroke

Regardless of the type of stroke that may occur, the symptoms are similar and one should be aware of:

  • Difficulty speaking or understanding what others are saying.
  • Paralysis or numbness of the face, arm, or leg (usually on one side of the body).
  • Trouble seeing with one or both eyes.
  • Headache.
  • Trouble walking.

In the event of perceiving one or more of these symptoms, it is vitally important to go to the emergency room at the hospital for timely attention and treatment, which may prevent complications such as disability or even death.

ABC Medical Center is the only hospital in Mexico that has international certification by the Joint Commission International for the care of cerebrovascular diseases (stroke). With this, we guarantee compliance with the highest safety and quality standards for our patient’s medical care.

At ABC Medical Center’s Neurology Center, we can provide you with specialized care. Contact us!


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    Ricardo Ostos

    Ricardo Ostos

    Content Creator

    Ricardo can convey complex medical information in an accessible and friendly way so that all of our patients can understand and benefit from it. In addition, he has an empathetic approach, offering information and practical advice that really makes a difference in people's lives. #lifebringsustogether.

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