Brianne J. Butcher, PHD is a neuropsychologist in Avondale, AZ specializing in neuropsychology and psychology. Brianne J. Butcher, PHD is affiliated with Phoenix Children's Hospital, Phoenix Children's Medical Group - Psychology and Phoenix Children's Southwest Valley Specialty Care Center.
A stroke is a medical emergency that occurs when a blood vessel supplying oxygen and nutrients to the brain is ruptured or blocked. The brain cannot function without a steady supply of oxygen and nutrients, so when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted ? even for a brief moment ? brain cells begin to die. When a sufficient number of brain cells die, the brain itself can no longer function, meaning that strokes are very dangerous. Strokes can result in impaired movement, speech, cognitive ability, the impairment of important physical functions, and even death.
Anyone can have a stroke, regardless of age and health. Strokes are known to happen at random. However, certain conditions and behaviors can increase one's risk of stroke over time.
Risk factors for stroke include:
There are two main types of stroke: ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke. Ischemic stroke occurs more commonly and is when a blood vessel in the brain becomes blocked. Blockages are caused by blood clots and built-up plaque (deposits of fat and cholesterol), which leads to atherosclerosis, a condition where the blood vessels narrow and harden. The resultant restricted blood flow may lead to an ischemic stroke by blocking essential oxygen to the brain, causing the heart to exert more effort to pump blood.
Hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel in or around the brain ruptures. The burst vessel leaks blood into surrounding brain tissue, causing irreparable brain damage.
Hemorrhagic strokes are less common and may occur from head injuries, brain aneurysms, brain tumors, and bleeding disorders, amongst other conditions.
Both ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes require immediate medical treatment. Medical intervention can prevent severe and life-threatening brain damage. Signs of stroke include:
-Disorientation or confusion
-Weakness in the face, legs, or arms
When someone suspected of having a stroke reaches the hospital, the patient will usually receive a CT or other scan that provides an image of the brain. The scan results can reveal clotted or leaking blood in the brain. Physical exams, neurological exams, and blood tests may also be used to check for blood clotting and sugar. Treatment begins generally immediately if a stroke is detected.
Medical treatment for ischemic strokes includes a thrombolytic medicine which breaks up and disperses blood clots. This medicine can greatly improve stroke recovery and long-term health. However, the thrombolytic medicine must be administered as soon as possible to achieve these results. Other treatments for ischemic strokes are blood thinners and thrombectomy, a surgical procedure to remove a blood clot in the brain. Thrombectomy is performed by inserting a catheter (thin needle) into the artery to reach the blood clot and mechanically remove it. With the clot removed, normal blood flow to the brain resumes. Thrombectomy is typically performed at most six hours after a patient shows signs of a stroke.
Hemorrhagic strokes are treated with blood-saving medication and surgery. For a hemorrhagic stroke caused by the rupture of an aneurysm (blood vessel bulges), surgery to stem the bleeding aneurysm and vessel may be used. One surgical technique is stent-assisted coiling, which adds a stent (small wire-meshed tube) into the blood vessel to block the leaking opening of the aneurysm. A non-surgical procedure is endovascular coiling, where a catheter (thin, hollow needle) places a platinum wire coil at the spot of the aneurysm. The coil blocks bleeding and prevents the aneurysm from continuing to leak blood. These procedures are usually combined with blood-thickening medications. Blood transfusions may be administered if substantial blood loss has occurred.
Since stroke patients may have lost some essential functions while the blood flow to their brains was obstructed, both ischemic stroke and hemorrhage stroke patients may receive post-stroke rehabilitation to rebuild their physical and mental abilities. Some restorative treatments include occupational, physical, and speech therapy. Patients may also receive care from neurologists, who can assist patients in recovering certain brain functions and cognitive abilities, and rehabilitation psychologists, who may help patients with their emotional, behavioral, and cognitive recovery. Some stroke patients require lengthy rehabilitation and may never fully regain function, while others may recover more quickly. While the fastest recovery improvements are usually seen in the first three or four months, stroke rehabilitation can last for years.
If someone begins to show signs of stroke, contact emergency services and call 9-1-1 immediately since blood flow must be restored as soon as possible to help avoid significant brain damage. If an ambulance takes the person to the hospital, paramedics can initiate stroke treatment as soon as the patient enters the ambulance, allowing for more prompt medical intervention and care.
She has a state license in Arizona.
Licensed In: Arizona
Brianne J. Butcher, PHD is associated with these hospitals and organizations:
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Dr. Brianne Butcher specializes in psychology and neuropsychology and practices in Phoenix, AZ and Avondale, AZ. Clinical interests for Dr. Butcher include neuropsychological testing, cancer, and neurofibromatosis. She is affiliated with Phoenix Children's Medical Group (PCMG). Dr. Butcher accepts Medicare insurance. New patients are welcome to contact her office for an appointment.