Cerebral infarction accounts for almost 90% of strokes in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, strokes are a leading cause of death in America. Fortunately, they are treatable.
The risk factors for cerebral infarction include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, tobacco smoking, obesity and atherosclerosis, or plaque build-up on artery walls.
Keep reading about cerebral infarction causes and treatment to learn more from PlanetDrugsDirect.com.
What Is a Cerebral Infarction?
Cerebral infarction, also known as ischemic stroke or brain infarction, is caused by a lack of blood supply to the brain. It occurs when a blood vessel becomes blocked or leaks outside the vessel walls. These occurrences vary in severity, and one-third result in death.
Thrombosis Vs. Embolism
Cerebral thrombosis is caused by a thrombus, or blood clot, in an artery going to the brain. The inner membrane of the canal cavity, and the canal cavity itself, narrow. The cerebral blood vessels have blood platelet factors condensed in blocks that cause blood stickiness, reduced blood flow and blood pressure drop.
Cerebral embolism occurs when blood clots from other body parts flow to the brain and cause blockage, such as tumor cells. It may take several days for symptoms to peak, but it also can occur within minutes or seconds.
3 Types of Cerebral Infarction
The different types of cerebral infarction depend on if a blood vessel becomes blocked or leaks.
1. Arteriosclerotic Cerebral Infarction
Arteriosclerotic cerebral infarction is caused by thickening arteries in the brain, resulting in cavity blockage or narrowing and insufficient blood supply to the brain. Patients may suffer aphasia, hemiplegia or other cerebral damages. It is common in older people, and the death rate is higher for those who smoke, have a high-fat diet or have diabetes. The cerebrovascular occlusion is often due to cerebral thrombosis or cerebral embolism. When the blood flow is cut off, infarction causes weakness or paralysis and sensory impairment.
2. Hemorrhagic Cerebral Infarction
Hemorrhagic cerebral infarction is caused when thrombosis or embolism occurs in a major cerebral artery or branch. Blood leaks out of the artery and enters cerebral tissues. Cerebral tissues suffer anoxia, diffuse ischemia and weakened vassal and blood capillary walls. Bleeding is intensified when the blood tries to enter the damaged or paralyzed blood vessels through the anastomosis branch. The chances of the arterial vessels reopening after cerebral infarction are high. Medical scholars report that up to 75 percent of hemorrhagic cerebral infarction patients incur another incident within seven days of the initial occurrence. The sooner the opening occurs, the quicker another hemorrhage will occur. Often, patients are treated with drugs for dissolution and anti-coagulation or may require surgery.
3. Lacunar Cerebral Infarction
Lacunar cerebral infarction refers to old or new infarctions deep within the brain. When this occurs, lacunas, or holes, are formed. Depending on the infarcted blood vessels, symptoms like limb numbness, dizziness, headache, aphasia and clumsiness may occur. This is due to the small arteries being blocked. Lacunar cerebral infarction may be caused by cerebral arteriosclerosis and hypertension. The diagnosis rate of lacunar cerebral infarction has improved greatly with the use of NMR and CT. Middle-aged and older people are at risk due to decreased blood flow due to body changes, including enhanced platelet aggregation and increased blood lipids and viscosity.
Current Treatment for Cerebral Infarction
The treatment for cerebral infarction varies depending on the type and severity.
- Thrombolytic drugs are often used in the therapy of cerebral infarction. According to the American Heart Association, patients have a better chance of survival and recovery if thrombolytic medications are taken within 12 hours of the incident. Most patients are administered these drugs within 90 minutes of hospital arrival. For those unable to tolerate thrombolytic drugs, mechanical embolectomy devices have effectively restored blood flow.
- If cerebral infarction is due to a thrombus blocking blood flow to the brain, removal of the blockage may be done by a thrombectomy or thrombolysis.
- Thrombectomy. Another intervention for cerebral infarction is the removal of the thrombus causing the blockage. This procedure is done by inserting a catheter into the femoral artery.
- Thrombolysis. Many stroke centers implement pharmacological thrombolysis with the drug tissue plasminogen activator (tPA). This drug is a protein that helps the breakdown of blood clots. It is also used for embolic stroke but contraindicated in hemorrhagic cerebral infarction.
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