According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are three major types of stroke:

  • Ischemic
  • Hemorrhagic
  • Transient ischemic

Ischemic Stroke

Most strokes, about 85%, are of this variety. If you have suffered from one of these strokes, it means that an artery in the brain that supplies oxygen-rich blood to the brain has become obstructed by a blood clot. Blood clots often are the major cause of these types of strokes.

Hemorrhagic Stroke

This type of stroke occurs when one of the arteries in your brain leaks blood or even ruptures. The leaking blood puts pressure on parts of the brain, leading to some degree of brain damage. The most common causes of hemorrhagic strokes are high blood pressure and aneurysm, which is a bulge in an artery that may stretch and eventually burst.

Two types of hemorrhagic strokes are:

  • Intracerebral hemorrhage: This happens when a brain artery bursts, and the surrounding brain tissue is flooded with blood.
  • Subarachnoid hemmorhage: This refers to bleeding in the places between the brain and the thin tissue covering it. This type of stroke is less common.


Transient Ishcemic Attack (TIA)

A TIA is often known as a mini-stroke and is very common. It is a different variety than the major types of stroke listed above, because the flow of blood to the brain is only stopped temporarily, typically less than five minutes.


  • If you have a TIA, it is a major warning sign of a future stroke.
  • A TIA is considered a medical emergency, no different from a major stroke.
  • If you or your loved one have had what you think is a TIA, you need care in an ER immediately. Call 911.
  • You can’t know for sure in the beginning of the symptoms if you are having a TIA or a major stroke. Seek medical care immediately.
  • Blood clots frequently cause TIAs, just like ischemic strokes.
  • About 33% of people who have a TIA will have a major stroke within one year if they are not treated, and about 15% will have a major stroke within 90 days of their TIA.

Please remember that the recognition and treatment of TIAs can cut down on the risk of having a major stroke. If you or your loved one has had a TIA, you need to get medical attention right away.

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People who have had a stroke need specialized care, and their loved ones also need plenty of advice and support. Fortunately, there is an abundance of information available today that can really make dealing with stroke much easier. For instance, the Family Guide to Surviving Stroke and Communication Disorders is a comprehensive guide for families of those who have suffered a stroke. This book will help you to fully understanding the stroke of your loved one and to help her to regain independence, and lead a fulfilling life.