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What are the symptoms of a cerebral infarction?

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Symptoms of a cerebral infarction include the sudden loss of sensation on one side of the body, altered sensations on one side of the body, difficulty speaking or understanding speech, and sudden weakness or paralysis on one side of the body, explains Merck Manual.

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Additional symptoms include a loss of consciousness or an altered state of consciousness, visual changes, loss of balance or coordination, and a sudden, severe, headache, especially when accompanied by nausea and vomiting, notes Merck Manual.

Cerebral infarctions are strokes caused by blockages in the brain arteries that prevent oxygen and glucose from reaching the brain, notes Mayo Clinic. This deprivation of oxygen and nutrients causes the death of brain tissue, resulting in brain damage and the constellation of symptoms experienced by the patient. A stroke is a medical emergency that requires immediate medical attention.

High blood pressure is the primary risk factor for strokes, according to MedlinePlus. Other risk factors include a family history of stroke, diabetes, atrial fibrillation, advancing age, high cholesterol and African-American ancestry. Women who use hormonal birth control, those with a history of peripheral vascular disease, and those who already have heart disease are also at increased risk. A poor diet and sedentary lifestyle are also contributing factors.

Treatment is mainly supportive, though some clots can be dissolved with certain drugs if the person gets to the emergency room in time, reminds MedlinePlus.

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