Ischemic stroke is a form of stroke caused by an interruption in the flow of oxygenated blood to a certain type of tissue. It is one of the leading causes of death and disability worldwide, with more than 795,000 cases reported annually in the United States alone. The pathophysiology behind an ischemic stroke involves obstruction or blockage within a blood vessel supplying oxygen-rich blood to parts of the brain; this leads to an inadequate delivery of nutrients, which then initiates cell death in the affected areas due to necrosis or apoptosis. This can be caused by either thrombotic events (the formation of a clot) or embolic events (a clot formed away from its source).
The clinical manifestations associated with ischemic strokes are primarily neurological deficits that vary depending on where in the brain they occur; these may include paralysis, blurred vision, loss function or sensation on one side of the body, difficulty speaking and understanding language, confusion and disorientation. In some instances seizures can also occur if there has been extensive damage done to cells within regions responsible for regulating motor activities.