What is a Thrombotic Stroke?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 21 December 2018
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A stroke is an event in which blood flow to the brain is impaired. There are different types of strokes a person may suffer, and one type is called a thrombotic stroke. With this type of stroke, a blood clot, also called a thrombus, develops in an artery through which blood would normally flow to the brain. This blocks blood flow and leads to a stroke. While there are medical treatments that may help a person who has suffered a stroke, it is a very serious occurrence; strokes can cause brain damage that can lead to paralysis, memory loss, and even death.


When a person has a thrombotic stroke, the effects can be devastating for the brain; when part of the brain is deprived of blood, brain cells in the area die. The extent of the damage caused by a thrombotic stroke may depend on the part of the brain that is affected and on whether the blood clot forms in a small or large artery. The length of time in which part of the brain is without circulation may matter as well. If a portion of the brain suffers from impaired blood flow for just a few minutes or a couple of hours, an individual's chances of recovering quickly and with few complications may be greater. On the other hand, a person whose brain suffers impaired blood flow for a long period of time may be more likely to have more severe complications or even permanent damage.

The symptoms of a thrombotic stroke may include headaches, dizziness, confusion, feelings of weakness, and paralysis. When weakness and paralysis occur as a sign of a stroke, they often affect only one side of the body. An individual who is having a stroke may also suffer from numbness in parts of the body, visual disturbances, and changes in gait. Some people may also have trouble talking or coordinating the movement of their extremities. While any of these symptoms may be a sign of a stroke, the symptoms a person has usually depend on the area of the brain to which blood flow is impaired.

Older people are more likely to suffer from thrombotic strokes than younger people. They are particularly likely to occur in individuals who have high cholesterol that causes a buildup of atherosclerosis, also called fatty material or plaque, in the arteries. Likewise, people who are overweight, have uncontrolled diabetes, or sedentary lifestyles may have a higher risk of having a stroke.

Emergency treatment is critical when a person has symptoms of a stroke. Early treatment may help minimize damage to the brain. Usually, early treatment involves administering a medicine through a vein that works to dissolve clots. After initial treatment, another medication may be used to continue to dissolve clots and prevent new clots from forming.



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