What Causes Stroke?

Ischemic stroke occurs when a blood clot travels via the blood and blocks an artery leading to the brain. These blood clots are often the result of heart valve problems, an irregular heartbeat, hardening of the arteries, blood-clotting disorders, infection of the heart muscle, inflammation of the blood vessels or a heart attack. In some cases, an ischemic stroke results when blood pressure becomes too low, reducing blood flow to the brain. Low blood pressure can result from narrowed or diseased arteries, a large loss of blood or severe infection.

Hemorrhagic stroke occurs when the rupture of a blood vessel inside the brain or in the spaces around the brain causes sudden bleeding. The most common cause of bleeding inside the brain is high blood pressure. However, hemorrhagic stroke may also be caused by inflamed blood vessels, blood-clotting disorders, head or neck injuries, or radiation treatment for cancer.

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