Pathophysiology of Stroke Case Study

Pathophysiology of Stroke Case Study

Laura Gray is an active woman, 82 years of age, who lost consciousness and collapsed at home. Her daughter found her mother on the floor, awake, confused, and slightly short of breath. The daughter called EMS. EMS evaluated Mrs. Gray and determined that she may have had a stroke. They notified the nearest designated comprehensive stroke center that they would be arriving with the patient within 15 minutes. The daughter reports that her mother had had an episode of sudden-onset numbness and tingling in the right limb, with slight confusion and slurred speech, 3 days previously. The episode lasted only 5 minutes and then the symptoms went away. Additional information provided by the daughter indicates that Mrs. Gray has been treated for hypertension for 10 years but notes that often forgets to take her antihypertensive medicines. The patient smoked for the past 40 years, drinks occasionally, and is of normal weight.


1. Based on the case study above, what risk factors does Mrs. Gray have for a stroke?

2. While we often consider a stroke to be a condition only seen in older adults, it can occur in children. Go to the American Stroke Association and review the linked article on Children and Strokes and identify three conditions that can cause a stroke in a child.

3. What is the pathophysiology of an Ischemic Stroke and how it is different than the pathophysiology of a Transient Ischemic Attack?

4. In the hospital, Mrs. Gray is immediately scheduled for a CT scan of her brain. What is the importance of obtaining a CT scan immediately at admission?

5. Based on her history and her recent stroke, what type of dementia is Mrs. Gray at risk of developing?

6. View the following YouTube video “Stroke” by Nucleus Medical Media (Sample Version) and identify the primary differences between an ischemic and a hemorrhagic stroke.

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