What is a Stroke/Brain Attack? - National Stroke Association

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What is a Stroke/Brain Attack? - National Stroke Association

Atherosclerosis: A hardening or build up of cholesterol plaque and other

fatty deposits in the arteries.

Aspiration: The act of inhaling solid or liquid materials into the

lungs.

Ataxia: A disorder in which muscles fail to move in a

coordinated fashion.

Atrial fibrillation (AF): A heart disease in which the upper left chamber of the

heart beats out of rhythm with the other three

chambers. Atrial fibrillation increases a person’s stroke

risk by six times. AF is generally treatable with

medication.

Barthel Index: Most commonly used scale that measures the ability of

a patient to perform the activities of daily living, such as

bathing and dressing.

Brain attack: A term that more accurately describes the effect and

action of stroke on the brain.

Brain stem: The stem-like part of the brain that connects the brain's

right and left hemispheres with the spinal cord.

Responsible for non-thinking activities such as

breathing, blood pressure and coordination of eye

movements.

Brain stem stroke: A stroke that strikes the brain stem, which controls

involuntary life-support functions such as breathing,

blood pressure and heart beat. Stroke in the brain stem

can be particularly devastating.

Broca’s Aphasia: A type of aphasia in which the patient has difficulty

expressing himself/herself even though understanding

of written and spoken language is intact. Also known as

motor, confluent, or expressive aphasia.

Bruit: A distinctive "rushing" sound heard in the carotid

arteries where plaque build up is present.

Calcium channel blocker: A drug that inhibits calcium ion reflux into cells or

inhibits the movement of intracellular calcium stores.

Caregiver: A person who provides direct support for a stroke

survivor, usually in the home.

Carotid artery: The arteries on each side of the neck which carry blood

from the heart to the brain. Each artery divides into

internal and external carotid arteries. Each external

carotid artery supplies blood to the neck and face. Each

internal carotid artery supplies blood to the front part of

the brain.

National Stroke Association’s Complete Guide to Stroke

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