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Thrombotic Stroke: Symptoms & Treatment

Instructor: Adrianne Baron

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

We are going to learn about what a thrombotic stroke is by discussing the symptoms that a person may have when having a thrombotic stroke and the treatment options that are available. Following the lesson, complete the quiz to test your new knowldege.

Thrombotic Stroke

What do you think of when you hear the word 'stroke?' It may bring to mind a tennis stroke or a golf stroke. There are also strokes that can occur in your body. A stroke is a loss of blood supply to the brain that causes the death of brain tissue. The formal name for a stroke is a cerebrovascular accident, abbreviated as CVA.

Strokes are caused by blood clots in the brain.
Diagram showing how a stroke occurs

There are quite a few different types of strokes that differ based on what caused it and where it occurred. One type of stroke is a thrombotic stroke. This is a stroke that is caused by a thrombus, which is a stationary blood clot. The blood clot forms in one or more of the arteries that supply blood to the brain and blocks the flow of blood to the brain. This in turn creates a situation where the brain is deprived of oxygen and the tissues of the brain die.

Symptoms

You must be thinking that brain tissue dying must cause some type of symptoms in the body since the brain controls the body. If you thought this, then you are correct! Exactly what symptoms are seen will depend on the part of the brain that is dying.

Some common symptoms of a stroke that aren't dependent on the part of the brain where the stroke occurred include headache, nausea, vomiting, and confusion. Symptoms that do depend on the location of the stroke include loss of muscle coordination , difficulty or inability to speak, imbalance and visual disturbances, like loss of vision or blurriness in one or both eyes.

Treatments

The best way to solve almost any problem is to address what caused the problem. That is how it works with treating a person that has had a stroke. If the cause was a thrombus, then the goal of treatment is to dissolve the blood clot. A thrombolytic drug is a drug that breaks up or dissolves a blood clot. Dissolving the blood clot will help blood to once again flow to the brain.

That is usually the first line of treatment, but you will likely be put on some type of long-term treatment as well. A blood thinner is a drug that helps to prevent the formation of blood clots. This is important to give you the best shot at not having another stroke.

Your doctor may also choose to put you on a daily aspirin regimen. This is also an attempt to prevent your blood from clotting again in the future. It can also help to dissolve small blood clots before they cause any damage in the body.

If the stroke was severe, then physical and occupational therapy may also be required. This is done to help you learn how to speak, walk and do regular every day activities again. The therapy also helps to prevent another stroke since it gets the body moving, which helps with blood circulation.

Lesson Summary

A stroke, also called a cerebrovascular accident, or CVA for short, is a loss of blood supply to the brain that causes the death of brain tissue. A thrombotic stroke is a stroke that is caused by a thrombus, which is a stationary blood clot.

Symptoms common to thrombotic strokes anywhere in the brain include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Confusion

Symptoms of a thrombotic stroke that do depend on the location of the stroke include

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