Types of strokes
Ischemic - this type of stroke occurs when the vessel clogs or an obstruction prevents the blood from getting to the brain. Approximately 83% of strokes are of this type. Fatty deposits line the vessel walls (atherosclerosis), and a blood clot (cerebral thrombosis) in the clogged part of the vessel results in a stroke.
Cerebral embolism – this occurs when a blood clot in the heart or large artery breaks free and travels to the brain’s blood vessels until it reaches a vessel that it is too small to get through. Another cause of an embolism is an irregular heartbeat, also referred to as atrial fibrillation.
Hemorrhagic stroke - this occurs when the vessel ruptures and leaks. Approximately 17% of strokes occur from a weakened vessel that ruptures and bleeds into the brain. Blood accumulates and pressure builds on the brain tissue. A vessel that balloons and ruptures when untreated is also known as an aneurism; and a cluster of abnormally formed blood vessels that may rupture and bleed into the brain is referred to as an arteriovenous malformation (AVM).
Transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) - these are minor or warning strokes. This condition has all the signs of an ischemic stroke, but the blood clot will resolve itself and occurs for a short time. These attacks are strong indicators of a possible major stroke later. You should work closely with your physician to prevent a future stroke.