Strokes occur when blood supply to the brain is blocked or blood vessels in the brain rupture.
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Diagnosis and Treatment
Your doctor will conduct several tests to determine the type of stroke you suffered and which parts of the brain were damaged. He or she also will need to rule out a brain tumor.
Your doctor will conduct a physical exam in addition to blood tests with evaluation for blood clots, infection and abnormal blood chemicals. Your doctor will also image your brain with a CT (computed tomographic scan), MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) or a cerebral angiogram. This will help the doctor analyze the health of blood vessels and damage to brain tissue, and then choose the best course of treatment.
Treating a stroke often starts immediately with aspirin, which prevents blood clots from forming. Steps are taken to restore blood flow to the brain through an injection in the arm. Otherwise, surgeons may wire a catheter up to the brain to break up clots, or perform surgery to clip a brain aneurysm.
Doctors will then prescribe the most aggressive rehabilitation your body can handle to restore motor skills and speech ability. Nearly half of all strokes are preventable. There are controllable factors that increase your likelihood of a stroke, such as high blood pressure, obesity and uncontrolled diabetes.