Ischemic Stroke

Ischemic Stroke is a particular type of stroke that results when oxygen is lacking (Ischemia) in a portion of the Brain.  The lack of oxygen is most often caused by a stoppage of blood flow.

The stroke can lead to a significant brain injury depending on cause and severity. The result can be problems with brain function affecting several main organs and systems of the body.

Stroke classification indicates that there is an injury in the brain, but there are different stroke types. Ischemic Stroke is one category.  The other type is Hemorrhagic Stroke.  Hemorrhagic stroke often means that a brain bleed has occurred.

Ischemic Stroke

This type of stroke occurs where there is a blockage in the blood vessels of the brain leads to a lack of oxygen. In other words, it is similar to a heart attack but of the brain. Blood allows oxygen and nutrients to be brought to the tissue of the brain. This blockage could be from air, a clot, or something else.

In normal situations, waste, carbon dioxide, and other items are taken away from the brain. When a stroke occurs, damage or ischemia to the brain can lead to loss of function and necrosis of the tissue of the brain due to cellular death. That means that those waste products cannot be easily removed for certain areas of the brain. Brain tissue death can ensue.

Ischemic Stroke accounts for more then 80% of all stokes and the average age is above 60 years of age.

It is more commonly seen in males than women. These types of strokes vary in their severity with nearly 30% resulting in death.


1.)  Thrombotic – [blood clot that has formed locally]

2.)  Embolitic –  [blood clot or foreign matter from somewhere else in body]

3.)  Systemic Hypoperfusion –  [Decreased blood flow due to shock or other factor]

4.)  Cryptogenic –  [Unknown origin]

Risk Factors:

– Age
– Male sex
– Overweight
– Increased cholesterol
– Cardiac disease


–  Very quick symptoms may be seen
–  Nausea
–  Vomiting
–  Headache
–  Dizziness
–  Fever
–  Loss of consciousness
–  Pain
–  Confusion
–  Changes in vision
–  Weakness
–  Abnormal movement of eyes
–  Seizures
–  Anger
–  Speech pattern changes
–  Loss of speech  [Complete]
–  Motor skills changes
–  Numbness
–  Paralysis  [Typically on one side of the body]

***Symptoms may develop quickly, within a few minutes, or worsen over a few hours

TIA –  Transient Ischemic Attack – may precede or give warnings to a major ischemic stroke


–  Emergency Room visit
–  Probable hospital stay

Thrombolytic (Fibrinolytic) Drugs:

Tissue Plasminogen Activator  (tPA)

Blood thinners

  –  Heparin
  –  Coumadin
  –  Aspirin

Blood pressure medications

Pain medications


–  Speech Therapy
–  Occupational Therapy
–  Physical Therapy
–  others