A Stroke, sometimes referred to as a cerebrovascular accident (CVA), cerebrovascular insult (CVI), or colloquially brain attack is the loss of brain function due to a disturbance in the blood supply to the brain. This disturbance is due to either ischemia (lack of blood flow) or hemorrhage. Ischemia is caused by either blockage of a blood vessel via thrombosis or arterial embolism, or by systemic hypoperfusion. Hemorrhagic stroke is caused by bleeding of blood vessels of the brain, either directly into the brain parenchyma or into the subarachnoid space surrounding brain tissue. As a result, the affected area of the brain cannot function normally, which might result in an inability to move one or more limbs on one side of the body, failure to understand or formulate speech, or a vision impairment of one side of the visual field.
A Stroke is a medical emergency and can cause permanent neurological damage or death. Risk factors for stroke include old age, high blood pressure, previous stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA), diabetes, high cholesterol, tobacco smoking and atrial fibrillation. High blood pressure is the most important modifiable risk factor of stroke. Cerebrovascular disease was the second leading cause of death worldwide in 2004.