Strokes have been around for thousands of years. Hippocrates recognized and described what we now call strokes as the onset of sudden paralysis. In ancient times stroke was called apoplexy and this term was applied to anyone who suddenly became struck down with paralysis. Physicians during that time knew very little about stroke and the only thing that could be done for the condition was to feed and care for the patient. "The first person to investigate apoplexy was a Swiss scientist named Johann Wepfer in 1620. Wepfer was the first to identify postmortem signs of bleeding in the brain in patients that died of apoplexy. Not only did was he the first to identify the blood in the brain of these postmortem apoplexy patients he also was the first to discover that some had blockages in their main arteries. These findings led to the renaming of apoplexy to cerebrovascular disease."
There are basically two types of strokes, ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke. Ischemic stroke occurs when an artery supplying blood to the brain becomes blocked and suddenly stops or decreases the amount of blood to the brain which ultimately causes an infarction. This type of stroke makes up about 80 percent of the strokes in the U.S. Blood clots make up the majority of these blockages.(AHA) Blood clots become more frequent the older a person gets. Blood clots can cause stroke in two ways. Clots can for in a part of the body and travel through blood vessels and then become lodged in a vessel inside the brain. This type of clot is called an embolus. A stroke caused by an embolus is called an embolic stroke. The second type of clot is called a thrombosis. A thrombosis is
a formation of a...