How common are strokes in adults, and what are the causes?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 11,867
    Dr. Nina Solenski, Stroke Neurologist at the University of Virginia Health System, describes the common causes of stroke including how common strokes are in adults and what the causes are.

    Host: How common are strokes in adults and what are the causes?

    Dr. Nina Solenski: Actually, they are very common in adults and as we age, the incidents of strokes actually goes up dramatically. There are many causes for strokes. The most common strokes actually occur because of a clot and this clot can get lodged in any of the blood vessels in the brain and when that happens then there is not enough blood flowing to the brain and the brain actually dies. That clot can come from very different sources. One, it's from the heart itself. So it travels from the heart through our large vessels in the neck to the brain, that's one source. But the clot can also form in the blood vessels that lead to the brain. For example in the clotted artery which again in your neck or locally within the blood, the blood vessels that are in the brain themselves. So that's one cause. Another cause is an actual slowly closure of the blood vessel itself based on disease that's in the blood vessel known as a plaque from cholesterol and slowly it actually closes off that blood vessel. Those are two of the most common causes.