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The two main causes of strokes are termed ischemic and hemorrhagic and involve blood vessels in the brain. Ischemic strokes comprise about 80% to 85% of all strokes. With an ischemic stroke, a blood vessel in the brain becomes clogged with a clot just like the clogged arteries in the heart. With a hemorrhagic stroke, a blood vessel in the brain actually bursts or leaks. Hemorrhagic strokes tend to be more serious. The distinction between these two types of stroke can be critical in determining the treatment used to help the patient. The "third" stroke type is considered by some investigators to be a subtype of ischemic strokes is a TIA or transient ischemic attack (also termed mini-stroke.
Treating a hemorrhagic stroke with treatment designed for an ischemic stroke will likely cause worsening of the stroke or death.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/4/2016
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