ETYM Old Eng. poplexye, Late Lat. poplexia, apoplexia, from Greek apoplexia, from apoplessein to cripple by a stroke; apo from + plessein to strike: cf. French apoplexie. Related to Plague.
Sudden diminution or loss of consciousness, sensation, and voluntary motion, usually caused by pressure on the brain.
Sudden hemorrhage in the vicinity of the brain; stroke.
Stroke or seizure due to thrombosis or rupture of brain artery. Alternate name for stroke.
(Medicine) A sudden loss of consciousness resulting when the rupture or occlusion of a blood vessel leads to oxygen lack in the brain; SYN. apoplexy, cerebrovascular accident, CVA.
Or cerebrovascular accident or apoplexy; Interruption of the blood supply to part of the brain due to a sudden bleed in the brain (cerebral hemorrhage) or embolism or thrombosis. Strokes vary in severity from producing almost no symptoms to proving rapidly fatal. In between are those (often recurring) that leave a wide range of impaired function, depending on the size and location of the event.
Strokes involving the right side of the brain, for example, produce weakness of the left side of the body. Some affect speech. Transient ischemic attacks, or “mini-strokes”, with effects lasting only briefly (less than 24 hours), require investigation to try to forestall the possibility of a subsequent full-blown stroke.
The disease of the arteries that predisposes to stroke is atherosclerosis. High blood pressure (hypertension) is also a precipitating factor.
Strokes can sometimes be prevented by surgery (as in the case of some aneurysms), or by use of anticoagulant drugs or vitamin E or daily aspirin to minimize the risk of stroke due to blood clots.