Stroke Specialist

Premier Cardiovascular Consultants

Board Certified in Cardiovascular Diseases located in Troy, Detroit, & Taylor, MI

A stroke is a potentially fatal event that occurs when an arterial blockage interrupts circulation to your brain. Without any oxygen or nutrients, the affected brain cells die off within minutes. Hammam Zmily, MD, and the team at Premier Cardiovascular Consultants, which has locations in Troy, Taylor, and Detroit, Michigan, specialize in evaluating patients who’ve suffered a stroke as well as preventing recurrent strokes. To learn more, call the office nearest you or request an appointment online today.

Stroke Q & A

What causes a stroke?

Strokes occur when the blood supply to your brain is interrupted, however not all strokes occur the same way. There are three primary types of strokes:

Ischemic stroke

The vast majority of patients have an ischemic stroke, otherwise known as a stroke that occurs when a blood clot obstructs an artery.

A thrombotic ischemic stroke occurs when a blood clot forms within one of the arteries supplying your brain with oxygenated blood, while an embolic ischemic stroke occurs when a clot that formed elsewhere moves through your bloodstream and forms a blockage in a brain artery.

Hemorrhagic stroke

This type of stroke occurs when a blood vessel in your brain leaks or ruptures. While several factors can cause hemorrhagic strokes, most are caused by poorly controlled high blood pressure or weakened blood vessel walls (aneurysms).

Transient ischemic attack (TIA)

In addition to ischemic strokes and hemorrhagic strokes, you might also suffer a transient ischemic attack (TIA). A TIA occurs when a blood clot temporarily inhibits blood flow to part of your brain. Although TIA symptoms are similar to those of a stroke, they generally subside within 24 hours. 

Experiencing a TIA increases your risk of having a stroke later. In fact, one in three patients who have a TIA has a full stroke within a month. 

What are some common symptoms of a stroke?

If you notice that someone is exhibiting symptoms of a stroke, they must seek immediate emergency treatment. In addition to being life-saving, prompt care can minimize brain tissue damage and your risk of developing potential post-stroke complications.

Common symptoms of a stroke include:

  • A sudden, severe headache 
  • Blurred or blackened vision in one or both eyes 
  • Confusion, trouble speaking, or difficulty understanding speech
  • Dizziness
  • Double vision
  • Facial drooping or numbness
  • Numbness or paralysis of an arm or a leg

Am I at risk of having a stroke?

Several factors can elevate your risk of having a stroke, but poorly controlled high blood pressure is one of the most critical. High blood pressure is responsible for more than 70% of all strokes.

Additionally, unhealthy cholesterol levels can also increase your risk of having a stroke, as does having diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, and cardiovascular disease. 

Carotid artery disease is one of the leading causes of stroke. It occurs when the carotid arteries, which supply blood to your head and brain, become narrowed due to fatty plaque deposits.

Plaque buildup in your carotid arteries can reduce blood flow to your brain, or it can result in small clots to form, which can break off and travel to your brain, causing a minor or major stroke. 

Approximately one-third of all strokes in the United States are caused by carotid artery disease each year. 

What are some stroke prevention strategies?

Understanding your risk factors enables you to take appropriate steps to decrease your odds of having a stroke. In many instances, this means making healthy lifestyle changes and adopting strategies that are used to prevent or control heart disease. 

This may include getting your blood pressure and cholesterol levels under control, maintaining a healthy body weight, or vigilantly monitoring blood sugar levels if you have diabetes. 

If you've had a stroke or TIA, your provider will look for potential causes of stroke, including carotid stenosis or cardiac sources of traveling clots. Your provider may use atrial fibrillation or a special ultrasound test (TEE) to monitor the latter in a hospital setting.

The Premier Cardiovascular Consultants team also provides interventional treatment solutions to prevent recurrent strokes. These treatments are performed in a hospital in collaboration with interventional cardiologists. Some examples of interventional treatment solutions include carotid stents or closing small holes in the heart (PFO).

To learn more about stroke treatment and/or prevention, call the Premier Cardiovascular Consultants location nearest you, or request an appointment online today.

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