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Cleveland Clinic

Treatment Options in Acute Ischemic Stroke

M. Shazam Hussain, MD, Cleveland Clinic Cerebrovascular Specialist - Doctor's Bio
M. Shazam Hussain, M.D, is the designated stroke center director and staff physician in the Cerebrovascular Center at Cleveland Clinic. He received his medical degree from University of Saskatchewan College of Medicine in Canada and then went on to complete a residency and fellowship at University of Alberta Hospital Canada in neurology and vascular neurology. Dr. Hussain joined Cleveland Clinic for his final fellowship in endovascular surgical neuroradiology. His specialty interests include acute stroke therapy, cerebrovascular diseases, and neuroimaging.

Cerebrovascular Center at Cleveland Clinic
  • Topic Info:Each year, more than half a million Americans suffer from strokes. A stroke, or "brain attack," occurs when the blood supply is cut off from part of the brain.

    When this happens, the blood-deprived brain loses its supply of oxygen and nutrients. When the brain is deprived of blood for even a few minutes, it begins to die.

    There are two types of stroke-ischemic and hemorrhagic. In ischemic strokes, brain arteries become blocked and prevent blood from nourishing the brain.

    In hemorrhagic strokes, brain arteries rupture from damage caused by high blood pressure and other risk factors or an aneurysm (an abnormal out pouching of a blood vessel) and cause blood to flood the brain, creating pressure that leads to brain-cell death.
    There are many risk factors that increase the risk of stroke.

    Some factors can be controlled, while others cannot. Some of these factors include: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, heavy drinking, smoking, being overweight, and a family history of stokes.

    Ways to reduce these risks include: not smoking, limiting alcohol intake, controlling your weight and blood pressure, and finding out if you have an irregular heartbeat or a diseased carotid artery. Immediate treatment of a stroke may limit or prevent brain damage.

    A thrombolytic agent or "clot buster" medication may be given within the first 4.5 hours of the onset of stroke symptoms, and patients may also qualify for emergent endovascular therapy to try to open blocked blood vessels.

    It is critical to call 911 and get to the hospital quickly if you experience stroke symptoms.

    Listen as the experts from Cleveland Clinic give you the most up to date information on Acute Ischemic Stroke and how acting fast can save your brain!

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