Brain Attack is a term many physicians are starting to use for strokes. That’s because people often confuse strokes with heart attacks. Both involve blockages: a heart attack occurs when the blood cannot flow to the heart, and a stroke occurs when blood cannot reach the brain. Without the oxygen the blood carries, brain cells start dying within minutes and disability results.
Every stroke is a medical emergency because it means that blood flow to part of the brain has been interrupted. Everyone needs to be able to recognize the signs of a stroke and get to a hospital fast because "time is brain." The longer you wait, the more brain cells could die.
For the best protection from stroke, match your wariness for stroke signs with changes in lifestyle to reduce the risk of having a brain attack in the first place. In general, anything that is good for your heart is also good for your brain.
A stroke is a persistent, interruption of blood supply to the brain. It can happen when an artery in the brain ruptures and bleeds (hemorrhagic stroke) or when a clot blocks an artery feeding the brain (ischemic stroke). Both cut the flow of oxygen and nutrients, causing brain cells to die. A TIA is the same sort of blood-flow interruption, but only a temporary one.
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