DescriptionAn in-depth report on the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of stroke.
Alternative NamesAtrial Fibrillation; Transient Ischemic Attacks
People at risk and partners or caretakers of people at risk for stroke should be aware of the general symptoms, and the stroke victim should get to the hospital as soon as possible after these warning signs appear. It is particularly important for people with migraines or frequent severe headaches to understand how to distinguish between their usual headaches and symptoms of stroke.
Symptoms of TIAs and Early Ischemic Stroke
The symptoms of a transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) and early ischemic stroke are similar. In the case of a TIA, however, the symptoms should resolve within 24 hours. Symptoms depend on where the injury in the brain occurs. The origin of the stroke is usually either the carotid or basilar arteries.
Symptoms From Blockage in the Carotid Arteries. The carotid arteries stem off of the aorta (the primary artery leading from the heart) and lead up through the neck around the windpipe and on into the brain. When TIAs or stroke occur from blockage in the carotid artery, which they often do, symptoms may occur in either the retina of the eye or the cerebral hemisphere (the large top part of the brain).
They include the following:
Symptoms From Blockage in the Basilar Artery. The other major site of trouble, the basilar artery, is formed at the base of the skull from the vertebral arteries, which run up along the spine and join at the back of the head. When stroke or TIAs occur here, both hemispheres of the brain may be affected so that symptoms occur on both sides of the body. The following symptoms may develop:
Such strokes usually occur in the brain stem, which can have profound affects on breathing, blood pressure, heart rate and other vital functions, but does not affect thinking or language.
Speed of Symptom Onset. The speed of symptom onset of a major ischemic stroke may indicate its source:
Symptoms of Hemorrhagic Stroke
Cerebral Hemorrhage Symptoms. Symptoms of a cerebral, or parenchymal, hemorrhage typically begin very suddenly and evolve over several hours and include:
Subarachnoid Hemorrhage. When the hemorrhage is a subarachnoid type, warning signs may occur from the leaky blood vessel a few days to a month before the aneurysm fully develops and ruptures. Warning signs may include:
When the aneurysm ruptures, the stroke victim may experience the following: