Stroke is Diagnosed and Treated in Baltimore


Stroke is a neurological condition diagnosed and treated by doctors at The Neurology Center at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland. Our highly trained and experienced neurologists work with other Mercy specialists to help patients manage their stroke condition and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

About the Condition

A stroke happens when the blood supply to a specific part of the brain stops. When the blood supply stops for seconds, the brain is deprived of blood and oxygen, causing the cells to die, which leads to permanent damage. A stroke requires immediate medical attention. Early treatment can help reduce brain damage and other stroke complications. Strokes are treatable and preventable.

Types of Stroke:

  • Ischemic–caused by a blocked artery
    • Thrombotic stroke–a blood clot forms in one of the arteries that supply blood to your brain
    • Embolic stroke–a blood clot forms outside the brain, moves about through the bloodstream, and embeds  in a narrow brain artery
  • Hemorrhagic–caused by a leaking or burst blood vessel
    • Intracerebral hemorrhage–a blood vessel in the brain ruptures and flows into the surrounding brain tissue
    • Subarachnoid hemorrhage–an artery located on or near the outside of the brain ruptures and flows into the area between the outside of the brain and the skull
  • Transient ischemic attack (TIA or ministroke) – caused by a temporary disruption of blood flow

Stroke risks factors include:

NEXT: Symptoms & Diagnostic Process ›
Symptoms & Diagnostic Process

It is important to know the exact time the signs and symptoms of the stroke begin. The timing is critical in determining the best treatment options.  Stroke symptoms include:

  • Difficulty  walking
  • Difficulty speaking and understanding
  • Numbness or paralysis of the face, arm, or leg
  • Trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Headache

In order to diagnose a stroke, the doctor will need to know the symptoms to assist with determining the type of stroke. The doctor will perform a physical exam along with testing. Tests may include:

  • Blood tests
  • CT Scan
  • MRI
  • Carotid ultrasound
  • Cerebral angiogram
  • Echocardiogram
NEXT: Treatment Options ›
Treatment Options

Stroke treatment options will depend on the type of stroke. For ischemic strokes, it is important that the blood be restored to the brain quickly. Treatment may consist of the following clot busting medications within the first four and a half hours of the stroke onset:

  • Aspirin - reduce the forming of blood clots
  • Intravenous injection of tissue plasminogen activator (TPA) - restores the blood flow by dissolving blood clots
  • Direct medication to the brain – a catheter is inserted in the groin, threaded to the brain and released in the location where the stroke is taking place
  • Mechanical clot removal – a catheter is used to position a small device into the brain to physically grasp and remove the blood clot

Other treatment options may include:

  • Carotid endarterectomy – the removal of plague from the carotid arteries found along the both sides of the neck and the brain
  • Angioplasty and stents