North Texas Institute of Neurology and Headache

5425 W. Spring Creek Pkwy

Suite 275
Plano, TX 75024
Phone: (972) 403-8184
Fax: (972) 403-0685




Karen Bontia, MD | Neurology | contact us

What is a stroke?

A stroke occurs when one part of the blood vessel in the brain is blocked or severely reduced, depriving brain of oxygen and food, which can cause brain cells to die.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms occur suddenly, and are usually severe at onset but sometimes symptoms build up over a course of hours.

Symptoms include: - weakness, paralysis or numbness of one side of the body and/or face - difficulty talking - difficulty walking - headache - dizziness, vertigo

What causes a stroke?

There are two kinds of stroke: ischemic and hemorrhagic. - Ischemic stroke is the more common cause of stroke and this occurs when the blood vessel becomes narrowed or completely blocked by cholesterol build-up or blood clot. - Hemorrhagic strokes occur because of blood vessel rupture. Blood vessel can rupture in uncontrolled high blood pressure, trauma, use of blood-thinning medications, aneurysm, and vascular malformations.

Diseases like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes mellitus, cardiac problems, and bleeding problems significantly increase the risk of stroke.

What do you do if you are having a stroke?

A stoke is a medical emergency. Prompt treatment is crucial and offers the best chance of minimizing damage and improving recovery.

Most stroke patients are admitted in the hospital so work-up can be done quickly, and appropriate medications can be started. Patients with stroke will need to have imaging of the brain (preferably with MRI or magnetic resonance imaging). This will help localize the area and severity of the stroke. Imaging of the arteries in the head and neck, echocardiogram, and blood test are also done to look for possible cause of the stroke.

What is the treatment?

If you are having an ischemic stroke, an IV medication that will dissolve the clot in the artery can be given if you present to the hospital within 3 hours. This drug has been proven to decrease overall long term overall disability. Most patients will be placed on an anti-platelet regimen after the stroke. Some patients may need to be on stronger blood-thinning medications. Other treatments will depend on what caused the stroke.

Contact Details

6750 N. MacArthur Blvd, Suite 250,Irving, TX 75039