Copyright

Causes of a Massive Stroke

Instructor: Adrianne Baron

Adrianne has taught high school and college biology and has a master's degree in cancer biology.

This lesson is going to look at what a massive stroke is and the two possible causes of a massive stroke based on the type of stroke. We will also briefly hit on what may cause the cause of massive strokes.

Massive Stroke

When you think about organs, such as the heart, lungs and brain, you probably think of these as being necessary to stay alive. You are correct! By this thought process, you would assume that anything that goes wrong with any of these organs is very serious and always massive in nature. That is true to a certain extent. There are things that can go wrong with these organs that can be mild or massive. Let's look at the brain for a moment.

One of the most often thought about problems that can occur in the brain is a stroke. This is the loss of blood supply to the brain resulting in brain tissue death and damage. Strokes may be mild strokes, in which they cause more subtle symptoms and damage that you can easily recover from, or they can be massive strokes in which they cause extensive damage and death in brain tissue.

The ironic thing is that mild and massive strokes are caused by the same things, but the difference lies in the area of the brain that is affected. Strokes that occur in large portions of the cerebrum, the largest area of the brain that carries out a vast amount of processing for the body, tend to be more massive and severe.

Cause of Massive Hemorrhagic Stroke

There are two different types of massive stroke, and they are caused by two different things. A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when an artery of the brain bleeds or ruptures, which causes a lack of blood supply to the brain as well as accumulation of blood on the brain tissue.

A hemorrhagic stroke results from bleeding on the brain
Diagram showing a hemorrhagic stroke

When a hemorrhagic stroke occurs in one of the larger arteries of the brain or one of the larger arteries of the brain ruptures, this leads to a massive hemorrhagic stroke since it affects a considerable amount of the brain and brain function.

That's the cause of the massive hemorrhagic stroke, but something had to cause that to occur as well, right? There are definitely some things that seem to contribute to the cause of massive hemorrhagic strokes. Medications, such as blood thinners, and anything that increases your blood pressure can be a cause of the cause of a massive hemorrhagic stroke.

Cause of Massive Ischemic Stroke

The other type of stroke is an ischemic stroke, which occurs when a blood clot forms or gets stuck in one of the arteries of the brain. This is actually the more common of the two types of stroke. When this occurs in some of the smaller vessels, less of the brain is affected.

An ischemic stroke occurs from a blood clot blocking blood flow to the brain
Diagram showing an ischemic stroke

However, a blood clot forming or getting stuck in one of the larger arteries of the brain that provides oxygenated blood to more of the brain causes a massive ischemic stroke. The result is widespread across the brain.

Just as there are causes for the cause of the massive hemorrhagic stroke, there are causes for the cause of the massive ischemic stroke as well. High blood pressure, drug and alcohol abuse, and having a sedentary lifestyle are contributors to the cause of the massive ischemic stroke.

Lesson Summary

A stroke is the loss of blood supply to the brain resulting in brain tissue death and damage. Strokes may be mild strokes, in which they cause more subtle symptoms and damage that you can easily recover from, or they can be massive strokes in which they cause extensive damage and death in brain tissue. The cerebrum is the largest area of the brain that carries out a vast amount of processing for the body.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support