Apoplexy | Definition, Types, and Examples
What is Apoplexy?
Apoplexy Definition: It is known as a stroke or cerebral hemorrhage, which is an interruption of blood flow to the brain that results in the death of brain cells. When there is not enough oxygen and glucose for cell metabolism, these cells will die because of energy. The severity of this type of injury can range from mild (a transient episode) to severe (long-term disability). It can be classified into two types: embolic and thrombotic. Embolic apoplexies happen when a clot blocks one or more blood vessels, leading to the brain. Thrombotic apoplexies occur when a blood vessel ruptures and bleeds into the surrounding tissue, which leads to an interruption of blood flow.
Several factors that can increase the risk for apoplexies are, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and smoking. Treatment options depend on the severity of symptoms but may include medications to lower BP or prevent further stroke events and surgery sometimes.
Types of Apoplexy
There are two types of apoplexy: embolic and thrombotic.
Embolic apoplexy happens when a clot blocks one or more blood vessels, leading to the brain. It is usually the result of a blood clot that has traveled to the brain from another part of the body, such as the heart or lungs.
Thrombotic apoplexy occurs when a blood vessel ruptures and bleeds into the surrounding tissue, which leads to an interruption of blood flow. Thrombotic apoplexies are usually the result of high blood pressure or atherosclerosis, which is a condition that causes the accumulation of plaque in the arteries. Pituitary apoplexy is very dangerous.
Several factors can increase the risk for apoplexy, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and smoking. Treatment options depend on the severity of symptoms but may include medications to lower BP or prevent further stroke events and surgery sometimes. Various factors cause apoplexies, such as:
A clot (thrombus) forms in one of the deep veins in your body and travels to the brain (embolic).
A blood vessel in or near your brain ruptures (hemorrhagic) due to high blood pressure, aneurysm, arteriovenous malformation, bullet wound, infection such as meningitis.
Apoplexy Effects on Human Body
The severity of it can range from mild (a transient episode) to severe (long-term disability). The most common symptoms are related to the damaged area of the brain.
For example, if a person has a stroke caused by a clot, they may have weakness on one side of their body, difficulty speaking, and problems with vision. If a person has a hemorrhagic stroke, they may have a severe headache, nausea and vomiting, seizures, and coma.
How to Reduce the Risk of Apoplexy?
There are several things you can do to reduce your risk, including:
- Maintaining healthy blood pressure.
- Eating a healthy diet.
- Exercising regularly.
- Limiting alcohol intake.
- Not smoking.
Medications to Prevent Apoplexy Event
Several medications can be prescribed to help prevent another its event from occurring. These include:
Anticoagulants (blood thinners) such as warfarin or heparin help reduce the likelihood of another embolic event.
Antiplatelet medications such as aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), dipyridamole, Asclepiadean (Ticlid) are given after a stroke to prevent new clots from forming in your blood vessels.
Treatment of Apoplexy
The goal of treatment is to reduce the pressure in your brain as quickly as possible. In an emergency, a craniotomy procedure may be performed, where part of the skull is temporarily removed so that the surgeon can directly access and remove or repair any clots.
In non-urgent situations for it, doctors will usually try to lower the blood pressure with medications. If there is much bleeding, surgery may be needed to stop the bleeding and protect the brain.
Living with Apoplexies
Many people live long and productive lives after an apoplectic event. However, some people may experience long-term paralysis, seizures, difficulty speaking or swallowing. Working with your healthcare team to develop a treatment plan that meets your individual needs is essential.