WHAT IS INTRACEREBRAL HAEMORRHAGE?
Intracerebral haemorrhage is caused by the bleeding of a blood vessel within the brain. As a result of the bleeding, a blood clot forms in the brain, which puts pressure on the brain and causes damage.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF INTRACEREBRAL HAEMORRHAGE?
The five most common symptoms of a stroke are:
- Sudden weakness or numbness of face, arm or leg; especially if the numbness is all on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause
- Also, for intracerebral haemorrhage, patients can often become drowsy or lapse into a coma.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF INTRACEREBRAL HAEMORRHAGE?
The most common cause of intracerebral haemorrhage is high blood pressure. Another cause, especially in younger people with intracerebral haemorrhages, is abnormally formed blood vessels in the brain (vascular malformations or aneurysms).
WHAT ARE THE RISK FACTORS?
Risk factors include:
- People with high blood pressure are twice as likely to have a stroke, and this risk may be even higher for intracerebral haemorrhage
- Older people are also more likely to have an intracerebral haemorrhage
HOW IS INTRACEREBRAL HAEMORRHAGE DIAGNOSED?
The doctors will need to make sure that the symptoms you are experiencing are due to a stroke. In order to do this, the doctors will find out more about you by asking you and your family about your medical problems and about the symptoms, you are experiencing.
You will likely have an EKG to assess your heart rhythm and activity. The doctors will need to do a physical exam and draw some blood to send to the laboratory.
Pictures of your brain will also be obtained through CT Scan, Angiogram and MRI Scan in most circumstances. The pictures of your brain will help to determine if you are having an ischemic stroke (blockage without bleeding) or if you have bleeding in or around your brain (haemorrhagic stroke).
WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONS OF INTRACEREBRAL HAEMORRHAGE?
Common complications resulting from an intracerebral haemorrhage are:
- Urinary tract infection
- Bladder control
- Brain swelling
Common conditions resulting from an intracerebral haemorrhage are:
- Difficulty speaking or understanding speech (aphasia)
- Difficulty with movement on one side of the body (hemiparesis)
- Difficulty with sensation on one side of the body (hemisensory deficit)
- Difficulty with thinking and/or paying attention to the world around you
HOW LONG DOES RECOVERY TAKE?
Movement of the extremities is often impaired after a stroke, but the ability to move usually improves substantially during the first months after the stroke and can continue to improve for some time thereafter. Recovery takes longer when there is serious impairment of movement. Most patients will have some remaining impairment of motion following their stroke.
If a person has only mild symptoms during the first few days after a stroke, they will generally be able to function better after recovery than a person who had severe symptoms after their stroke.
Younger patients will have better recovery than elderly patients. The larger the area of damage to the brain, the less chance there is of getting full recovery.
The brain has mechanisms to repair itself, but scientists are just beginning to understand them. The results from some experimental studies show that some medicines that stimulate brain cell activity or cause brain cells to grow can increase recovery from stroke. In other studies, introducing cells into the brain can promote recovery.
At KIMS, our staff includes some of the very best world-renowned specialists in treating acute stroke, including intracerebral haemorrhage.