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    An Introduction to Stroke

    Most strokes (85%) are caused by acute ischaemia due to blockage of a cerebral artery, leading to loss of oxygenation in downstream brain tissue, and ultimately causing neuronal cell death and irreversible neurological damage. The remainder are haemorrhagic strokes, caused by intracerebral or subarachnoid haemorrhage. Treatment of ischaemic stroke has been transformed by advances in imaging technology, as well as the emergence of thrombolytics and subsequent mechanical thrombectomy, sometimes facilitating complete recovery. Increasingly, oral anticoagulants are preventing stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation. Therapies targeting neuroinflammation after brain ischaemia (e.g. transplantation of mesenchymal stem cells) are also emerging as potentially useful.

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