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The term "Stroke" corresponds to four possible western medical conditions,... cerebral hemorrhage, cerebral thrombosis, cerebral embolism, and spasm of a cerebral vessel. Typically all four of these conditions fall under the greater classification of "Cerebrovascular Accident," which is a pathologic state of the blood vessels in the brain.

The sudden neurological impairment caused by a cerebrovascular accident is technically called "apoplexy" and is what we think of when we imagine the terms true meaning of stroke.

Defining stroke symptoms further, it helps to investigate the meaning of the four variations of stroke.

  1. Cerebral Hemorrhage: bleeding from an intracerebral artery into the subarachnoid space.
  2. Cerebral Thrombosis: total or partial obstruction of a cerebral artery by a thrombus with consequent infarction and anoxia of the surrounding tissue. A thrombus is a blood clot that forms in the lining of an artery and remains attached to its place of origin.
  3. Cerebral Embolism: occurs when an embolus detaches from a thrombus and occludes a cerebral artery with consequent infarction and anoxia of the surrounding cerebral tissue. An embolus is a bubble of air or a piece of a thrombus that detaches from it, and travels along the arterial system, eventually occluding an artery.
  4. Spasm of a cerebral vessel: occurs when it temporarily contracts. This may also be due to a passing embolus which causes a temporary narrowing or obstruction of it's lumen and therefore temporary anoxia of the surrounding cerebral tissue.

stroke symptoms

There are two main types of stroke symptoms as defined by Chinese medicine which can be caused by any one of the above types of Cerebral Vascular Accident. The first is considered the tense, or closed type, and is referred to a "collapse of Yin." The symptoms of stroke in this category include:

  • sudden collapse
  • loss of consciousness
  • coma
  • clenched teeth
  • closed fists
  • lock-jaw
  • red face and ears
  • profuse sputum
  • rattling sound in the throat
  • coarse breathing
  • constipation
  • retention of urine

The sequelae of the attack if the patient survives consists mainly of:

  • hemiplegia: paralysis of one side of the body, either complete or partial
  • facial paralysis: deviation of eye and mouth
  • slurred speech
  • numbness of limbs

Stroke symptoms of the "mild type" or defined in Chinese medicine as "attack of the channels alone." Here the symptoms get broken down into two sub categories.

Stroke symptoms of the main channels

  • Facial paralysis
  • hemiplegia
  • numbness of limbs
  • limitation of movement
  • slurred speech (not always present)

Stroke symptoms of the connecting channels, also known as mini stroke is the final category. Symptoms of mini stroke include:

  • unilateral numbness of face and limbs
  • slurred speech (this is not always present)

Posted by Staff at June 25, 2005 9:50 PM

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Comments Archive

Mom had symtoms of stroke, no stroke found, told us she was crazy and in need of mental assistance,
she was released from hospital, still had her migraine and dizzy. She fell over coffee table and injured herself. She does not want to go back to Doctor because they think she is crazy. She has been completely dibilitated in the past regularly with migraines. She had a hystorectomy in March and is now in menopause. Her Migraines are worsening. Do extreme migraines present themselves with stroke like syptoms?

Posted by: James Desjardins at July 17, 2006 10:52 PM

age 76
high blood pressure kept in check by vasotec (60 mg)each day.
intermittant pulse started this morning above eye brow at hairline on left side of face. it will last about one second and then subsides. so far has lasted about one hour. any help would be appreciated. james

Posted by: james waddell at August 30, 2006 3:58 PM