What is stroke?

Also referred to as a “brain attack,” stroke occurs when blood flow to an area of the brain ceases or is impeded. When this lack of blood flow occurs, brain cells can’t get oxygen and start to die. When the brain cells die during a stroke, brain functions that are controlled in that section of the brain such as memory, speech, and muscle control are lost.

The degree which an individual is impacted by stroke depends on the area in the brain where the stroke occurs and how much damage is sustained due to the time of the stop of blood flow and cell destruction. For example, a person who suffers a small stroke may only have minor problems such as weakness of a limb. People who suffer larger strokes may experience more severe issues, such as permanent paralyzation on one side of their body or loss of speech. Some individuals can recover completely from stroke, but more than 2/3 of stroke survivors sustain some kind of disability.

There are 2 types of stroke.

Hemorrhagic Stroke

Hemorrhagic stroke occurs as a result of a brain aneurysm burst or a blood vessel leak. It is less common of the two types of stroke, it is severe enough that it often results in death.

Ischemic Stroke:

Ischemic stroke occurs when a blood vessel carrying blood to the brain becomes blocked by a blood clot.

Stroke Causes

Stroke can be caused by any number of risk factors, some are controllable and others are genetic and uncontrollable. Almost half of all strokes could have been prevented and result from the controllable risk factors.

Some of the controllable risk factors in crude the following:

  • High blood pressure
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Obesity
  • Carotid or coronary artery disease

Many of the controllable risk factors can be treated through a healthy lifestyle in conjunction with the guidance and assistance of a medical doctor.

Uncontrollable risk factors include the following:

  • Age
  • Gender (Stroke is more common among men, but more severe in women)
  • Race (African Americans have a greater risk for stroke)
  • Family History of Stroke

​Stroke Symptoms

The symptoms of stroke often come on suddenly and include the following signs:

  • Sudden, severe headache (often described as more severe than any experienced previously in life)
  • Sudden pain above and behind the eye
  • Vision problems — sudden blurred or double vision — or just trouble seeing
  • Light sensitivity
  • Seizures
  • Neck pain or stiffness of the neck
  • Drooping eyelid
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Sudden mental confusion or lack of awareness
  • Sudden weakness, numbness, dizziness or trouble walking
  • Fainting or loss of consciousness

A good acronym to learn was developed in 1998 by a group of stroke physicians and is circulated by the American Stroke Association to help spot the symptoms of stroke FAST (Facial drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulties, and Time).

Our doctors at Houston Brain Aneurysm and Neurological Center can help evaluate your risk for stroke and perform medical imaging if you or someone you know are experiencing signs of stroke.

Additionally, some stroke sufferers may also experience transient ischemic attacks (TIA) prior to suffering a full stroke. These “mini strokes” are brief experiences of the listed symptoms of stroke. Some individuals may experience no or imperceptible signs of stroke before one occurs. It is important to undergo regular check ups to ensure that any symptoms are not serious and related to an oncoming stroke.

Diagnosing Stroke

Doctor Diaz and Doctor Klucznik provide a range of diagnostic services, but Cerebral Angiography is specifically used for diagnosing aneurysms. Cerebral angiography is also used to diagnose any vascular diseases of the brain including arterial blockage. Angiograms are performed by the doctor injecting a contrast dye through the carotid or vertebral artery so they can see where the abnormality is located. Using X-ray and computer imaging, we are able to render 3-D images of arteries and veins. imaging, we are able to render 3-D images of arteries and veins.

Stroke Treatment

In the event of a stroke, your doctor will have to evaluate the kind of stroke your experiencing as well as the location of the stroke in order to determine which treatment is best. Interventional neuroradiologists generally use cerebral angiography to get images of your brain. Additionally in order to treat the stroke they may use a number of different devices such as clot retrieval devices to remove clots in the case of ischemic stroke.

To learn more about the innovation used to treat stroke visit our​ Specialties and Services page.

Recovery and Rehabilitation

Doctor Diaz and Doctor Klucznik treat all of their patients with minimally invasive endovascular procedures. Endovascular repair has a lower risk of complications compared to open surgery. Your doctor is more likely to suggest this type of repair if you have other serious medical problems or are elderly.

Following emergency treatment, stroke recovery focuses on helping patients regain strength, as well as recover as much function as possible to try to return to independent living. The impact of your stroke depends on the area of the brain involved and the amount of tissue damaged.

Most stroke survivors receive treatment in a rehabilitation program. After treatment our doctors will recommend the most rigorous therapy program you can handle based on your age, overall health and your degree of disability from your stroke. Our doctors will into consideration your lifestyle, interests and priorities, and the availability of family members or other caregivers.

Recovery after endovascular repair is quick in most cases and generally faster than more invasive procedures. After endovascular repair, you will still need to be monitored regularly to make sure your repaired aneurysm is not leaking.

What should you do if you suspect you or
someone you know is suffering from stroke?

Call 911 immediately if you suspect you or someone you know is showing signs or symptoms of stroke.

Getting immediate treatment for stroke can minimize damage and increase the potential for saving a life and having a stronger recovery.

Why Choose Us ?

Choose Houston Neurovascular Center for caring doctors and staff with unparalleled knowledge and experience in the field of Interventional Neuroradiology. Our neurointerventional surgeons are at the leading edge of treatment research and studies. We accept most major insurance carriers to make sure that the financial aspect of your care is as seamless as possible.

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For urgent and emergency cases, please call 911 or go to an emergency room.