Introduction to Strokes
The brain is arguably the most complex of all the organs in your body. These three pounds of tissue compose the major nerve center of the body, which coordinates all of our bodily functions, including behavior, thought and emotions. Because your brain is a very hard-working organ, it requires constant supplies of oxygen and nutrients from the blood to function effectively. The heart pumps blood throughout the cerebral arteries (“cerebral” means “related to the brain”), delivering blood to the brain. Any significant interruption to this supply of nutrients and oxygen will start killing brain cells. Damage to brain cells occurs almost immediately upon cessation or even significant restriction of blood flow to the brain. Minor damage to any part of the brain can have a serious adverse effect on the rest of the body. Significant damage to the brain can even result in death.