For many people, the threat of having a stroke is a feared part of getting older. But the truth is that a stroke (also called a “brain attack”) can happen at any age. Stroke treatment depends on the type of stroke. There are two main types of strokes, but both occur when blood flow \u2014 and therefore the delivery of oxygen \u2014 to the brain is interrupted.\nTo learn more about stroke prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation, contact the\u00a0UPMC Stroke Institute to schedule an appointment or ask a question at\u00a0412-232-8840\nAn ischemic stroke occurs when a blood clot blocks a blood vessel in or leading to the brain. Ischemic strokes are by far the most common type of stroke and make up and estimated 85 percent of all strokes. There are two subcategories of ischemic stroke: Thrombotic strokes occur when a blood clot blocks a vessel in the brain, while embolic strokes occur when a blood clot forms elsewhere in the body and moves to the brain.\nThe second main type of stroke is called a hemorrhagic stroke. It occurs when a blood vessel in the brain leaks or bursts. A third kind of stroke, a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or “ministroke” is a brief interruption in blood flow to the brain that can mimic stroke symptoms. In all three cases, when blood flow is interrupted, brain cells don’t receive enough oxygen and begin to die. Depending on what part of the brain is damaged, a stroke can cause problems with memory, speech, muscle control, or other functions.\nTreating Different Types of Strokes\nAs you might imagine, treatment depends on the type of stroke.\nIschemic stroke treatment\nDoctors typically treat an ischemic stroke with medications that break up blood clots. These include aspirin, which is given immediately in the emergency room to help prevent another stroke from occurring. The intravenous drug IV-tPA can also dissolve blood clots and restore blood flow, and has been shown to help reduce stroke-related disability in some people. However, this treatment must be given within about four-and-a-half hours after the onset of symptoms. Intra-arterial tPA or mechanical thrombectomy \u2014 advanced treatments available at the UPMC Stroke Institute \u2014 can be administered to select patients within eight to ten hours after symptoms begin.\nHemorrhagic stroke treatment\nTreatment for a hemorrhagic stroke usually involves medications to stop bleeding, lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of seizures. Once bleeding is controlled, your physician may recommend that you undergo surgery to repair blood vessel abnormalities to help prevent another stroke from occurring.\nTransient Ischemic Attack (TIA) treatment\nIf you have had a ministroke or TIA, your doctor will take steps to help prevent another TIA or a full-blown stroke. Therapies can include medications that protect against blood clots, such as anti-platelet drugs (aspirin, Plavix) and anticoagulant drugs; or blood thinners (heparin, warfarin). Depending on your individual situation, your doctor may also recommend surgery or other procedures to clear clogged arteries.