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What are key causes of stroke?

Dr Arvind Chandratheva of Queen Square recently explained how he thinks about the potential causes of a stroke.

Let’s assume a patient has had a stroke due to a clot. The clot has originated somewhere in the blood vessel system, which can be thought of as four trees in the winter, two at the front and two at the back and they all come from a root.

When I’m thinking about why and where the clots have come from, I think:

Could it have been a problem in the big trunks, which we call the big carotid or vertebral artery vessels? And we can look for those.

Is it a problem with the little twigs and branches, which we would call a small vessel clot?

Or is it related to the root (or the heart)? Which is what we call a cardio embolic cause.

These are the three areas that we’re looking as a cause for stroke.