What is a blood clot in the brain called?
Have you ever heard of a blood clot in the brain? If not, lucky you! But for those unfamiliar with this term, don’t worry – it’s not as scary as it sounds. Well actually, it can be pretty darn terrifying.
Let me break it down for you.
First Things First: What Exactly is a Blood Clot?
Before we dive into what this pesky brain clot is called, let’s first make sure we understand what a blood clot actually is. In short (pun intended), blood clots are gel-like masses that form when your body tries to prevent excess bleeding by forming semisolid clumps in your veins or arteries (ugh, getting queasy just thinking about it).
But why do these little boogers cause problems? While they may serve an important purpose when they’re doing their job correctly (i.e., preventing excessive bleeding), sometimes they show up uninvited and start partying where they shouldn’t be. This can lead to some serious issues like deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolisms (PEs) which occur when the clot travels through your bloodstream and lands itself somewhere else (womp womp).
Now that we’ve got that sorted out, let’s shift our focus on the main event…
So…What Is A Blood Clot In The Brain Called?
I’m glad you asked! A blood clot that forms inside one of the vessels in your brain goes by many names…well four specifically:
1. Cerebral Thrombosis
Cerebral thrombosis refers to a type of stroke caused by blood clots forming within cerebral arteries – basically impeding normal oxygen supply from reaching parts of your brain (not ideal).
2. Embolic Stroke
In contrast to cerebral thrombosis, an embolic stroke occurs when clots form somewhere else and eventually travel to the brain via blood circulation. It’s like a little road trip except you’re stuck in a car with a rowdy blood clot that won’t quit complaining about how it can’t feel its nucleic acid.
3. Cerebral Venous Thrombosis
This is sort of like cerebral thrombosis’ dirty cousin – instead of affecting arteries, this type of blood clot affects veins which then obstruct normal drainage processes from occurring within the brain.
4. Subarachnoid Hemorrhage
While not technically classified as a “blood clot” per-say, subarachnoid hemorrhages involve bleeding in the area surrounding your brain where cerebrospinal fluid circulates (ouch).
What Causes A Blood Clot In The Brain?
Unfortunately for us humans (and fortunately for these pesky blotches), there are many things that can contribute to their formation. Here are just some of the main culprits:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Heart disease
So if by chance you happen to be guilty of any or all-of-the-above… friendly reminder: we only have ONE body folks! Take care!
Who Is Most At Risk For Getting One?
Great question! You might be at risk if:
- Your age is above 55 years old.
- You take a birth control pill/ hormonal therapy/ have had multiple pregnancies.
- If you’ve got close family members who’ve had strokes/clotting issues.
- Irregular heartbeats make an appearance in your medical records (atrial fibrillation, ya know..)
Again, think healthy habits + taking care = living life
In conclusion, while a clot in the brain may go by a few different monikers, they all share one thing in common: trouble. Therefore it’s never a bad idea to educate yourself on prevention strategies as well as the symptoms of blood clots which include confusion, headaches and blurred vision (yikes).
As always, take care of your body, catch those zzz’s and steer clear of smoking/drinking (unless you’re ready to include some unexpected guests).
Stay safe folks!