You can get strokes (also called brain attacks) by the same mechanism that leads to heart attacks. The disturbance of the blood supply to the brain leads to a loss of your brain functions.

The affected area of your brain is unable to function. You can't move your limbs, you can't understand when they talk to you or you can't respond, or you can't see on one side of your visual field.


Brain attacks cause permanent brain damage, complications, and even death. There are two types of attacks.

One is called ischemic and caused by the lack of blood supply to the brain and the other is called hemorrhagic and caused by bleeding in the brain. The picture on the right shows the brain that has suffered an ischemic attack.

That shaded area in the brain is the area that has suffered from the attack. And smoking cigarettes causes ischemic attacks.

Just as in a heart attack, the smoke from the cigarettes causes a shrinkage of the arteries. This causes a build up of cholesterol and white blood cells which create blockage in the wall of the artery. This reduces the blood supply to part of your brain.

Your brain tissue does not function if it is deprived of oxygen for more than 60 to 90 seconds. After a few hours your brain suffers from irreversible injuries.

Brain attacks affect patients physically, mentally, emotionally, or a combination of the three. It even gets to a point where you show the opposite of what you feel, by crying when you hear a joke or by laughing when they tell you something tragic. It's as if your brain wires get crossed.

Return from Strokes to Effects of Smoking