The connection between a stroke and brain damage is that both major types of stroke, an ischemic stroke and a hemorrhagic stroke, can cause areas of the brain to die. Ischemic strokes cause brain damage because the supply of oxygen to part the brain is cut off for three minutes or longer, and the tissue that has been cut off then dies. Hemorrhagic strokes are more violent, caused by a rupture of a blood vessel in the brain, which tears some of the brain’s tissue and causes a large blood clot. The tissue surrounding this event will then die, meaning that the patient suffers brain damage. The connection between a stroke and brain damage can affect any area of the brain.
Ischemic stroke and brain damage are related because all tissues within the body need oxygen to function. A blood clot in one of the arteries leading to the brain means that one part of the brain doesn’t receive oxygen for a certain period of time. After three minutes of this, the part of the brain affected by the blood clot will start to die, which means that it will be permanently damaged. The affected part of the brain will start to die from the center, and it will get worse up until around three hours after the clot formed, when the entire area is likely to be dead. Ischemic strokes are the most common type of stroke.
Hemorrhagic strokes are essentially the result of a burst blood vessel within the brain. The pressure within the particular vessel rises gradually until it bursts, which rips apart some of the soft tissue within the brain. The body’s natural clotting mechanism then kicks in, applying extra pressure to surrounding areas of the brain as the blood hardens. The area of the brain surrounding the clot will then die, meaning that hemorrhagic stroke and brain damage are also related.
Any part of the brain can be affected by a stroke and brain damage, and the different locations in which the event can take place causes different problems with ordinary function. Generally, the brain can be split into the left brain and right brain. Strokes affecting the right brain can cause short term memory loss, short attention span, and emotional problems. Any stroke which effects the left brain can cause problems with language, cause changes in personality, and slow down any responses to questions or problems.
Most strokes cause some degree of brain damage. Some patients experience mini-strokes, otherwise called transient ischemic attacks, which are caused by a blood clot that clears up before brain damage occurs. The damage caused by these attacks disappears within a day, and often even quicker. Any blockage that lasts longer is likely to cause a stroke and brain damage.