During a stroke brain cells die suddenly due to a lack of oxygen. This may be caused by an obstruction of blood flow or the rupture of an artery that feeds the brain.

There are two main types of stroke:

Ischemic stroke occurs when there is interruption of blood flow to parts of the brain.

Haemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel on the brain’s surface ruptures or when a defective artery in the brain bursts and fills the surrounding tissue with blood. Haemorrhagic strokes can be caused by uncontrolled high blood pressure, or rupture or aneurysms. Aneurysms are abnormal blood filled pouches that balloon out of weak spots in the wall of an artery.

Some hemorrhagic strokes benefit from neurosurgery.