Stroke

Introduction:

stroke is a cerebrovascular Accident CVA is the sudden loss of neurological function caused by an interruption of the blood flow to the brain. Each year about 795,000 people in the USA have strokes and of these incidents, about 14000 people die.

What is stroke:

when there is a blockage in the blood supply to the brain, a stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures and bleeds. It prevents blood and oxygen to reach the tissues of the brain. within minutes brain cells and tissues become damaged without the supply of oxygen.

Recognize the signs of a stroke:

Just as putting up a fire quickly can stop it from spreading, treating a stroke quickly can reduce damage to the brain. If you learn how to recognize the signs of a stroke, you can act quickly and save a life,may be even your own.

Symptoms of a stroke in women:

women have a higher lifetime risk as compared to men. A Stoke symptoms that occur more commonly in women include:

  • Pain
  • hallucination
  • fainting or losing consciousness
  • seizures
  • trouble breathing
  • nausea or vomiting
  • lack of responsiveness
  • sudden behavioral changes, especially agitation

symptoms of a stroke in men:

In younger years men are more likely to suffer than women, but they are at less risk of death as compared to the women

  • Drooping on one side of the face or uneven smile
  • difficulty in speaking, trouble understanding other speech
  • muscle weakness on one side of body especially arm

Types of a stroke:

The three main types are:

  • Ischemic
  • Hemorrhagic
  • Transient ischemic attack (mini)

Ischemic stroke:

It is most common type. Brain cells do not receive proper blood supply and get damaged. Narrowing of arteries atherosclerosis can be a cause of ischemic stroke .In simple words cutting off the blood supply to the brain is known as the condition of ischemic stroke.

Hemorrhagic stroke:

when a blood vessel bursts and bleeds in or around the brain. It leads to damage of brain cells by the pressure of blood. That damaged area of brain does not work properly.

Types of hemorrhagic stroke: There are two main types of hemorrhagic stroke.

  • Intracerebral hemorrhage: It is known as the most common type of hemorrhage stroke.
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage: The bleeding occurs in the arachnoid space, between the brain and the membrane that covers it.

Transient ischemic attack or TIA:

When the blockage that stops the blood getting to your brain is temporary, it is called TIA. It is also known as mini stroke. It is same as the Ischemic stroke except the symptoms that last for short period of time.

Causes of a stroke:

It depends upon the type of stroke. the three main types are ischemic stroke, hemorrhagic stroke, and transient ischemic attack (TIA).

  • Causes of Ischemic stroke: Causes of ischemic stroke includes situation, when a blood clot causes blockage in an artery that leads to the brain, or formation of a substance (plaque) on the wall of a blood vessel. It causes blocking of the blood flow to the brain .
  • causes of TIA are similar to the ischemic stroke despite of short term causes.
  • Causes of hemorrhagic stroke: The possible causes of hemorrhagic includes aneurysm (a weakened, bulging section of a blood vessel) can lead to a burst blood vessel due to the high blood pressure. Other condition named as arteriovenous malformation, it is the abnormal connection between the arteries and veins. It causes bleeding into the brain.

Risk factors

The more risk factor you have, the more likely you are to have a stroke. Risk factors include:

Diet

An unhealthy diet that increases the risk is one that is high in:

  • salt
  • saturated fats
  • trans fats
  • cholesterol

regular exercise has many health benefits.

Alcoholic consumption

If you drink too much alcohol, the risk factor will also increase. More consumption cause high blood pressure as well as triglyceride levels which leads to the atherosclerosis.

Tobacco use

your blood pressure rises, when you use nicotine. Using tobacco in any form increases the risk factors. Too much Smoking can also leads to the stroke.

Personal background

risk factors can be linked to your:

  • Family history
  • Sex difference
  • Age
  • Race and ethnictiy

Health history

There are the following certain medical conditions are linked to risk:

  • Sickle cell disease
  • Heart valve defects
  • High blood pressure
  • A previous stroke or TIA
  • Enlarged heart chambers and irregular heartbeats
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes

Diagnosis

Doctors will take your medical history to find out your stroke risk factors. They should ask about:

  • what medications you take
  • listen to your heart
  • check your blood pressure

You will also have a physical examination, during which a doctor evaluate you for:

  • Balance
  • Coordination
  • weakness
  • Numbness in your arms, face and legs
  • signs of confusion
  • Vision issues

Tests to diagnose

The main tests include:

Blood tests

blood tests can determine:

  • your blood sugar level
  • if you have an infection
  • your platelet levels
  • how fast your blood clots

MRI and CT scan

Magnetic resonance imaging MRI and a computerized tomography CT scan, both are helpful in providing details about the clear picture of your brain that shows any bleeding or damage in the brain.

EKG

Electrocardiogram (EKG) records the electrical activity in the heart, measuring its rhythm and recording how fast it beats. It can determine any heart condition that may lead to disease.

Cerebral angiogram

It offers a detailed look at the arteries in your neck and brain. this test can show blockages or clots that may have caused symptoms.

Carotid ultrasound

It is also known as carotid duplex scan, can show plaque in your carotid arteries, which supply the blood to your face, neck, and brain.

Echocardiogram

An echocardiogram can find sources of clots in your heart. These clots may have traveled to your brain and may cause disease.

Treatment

If you suspect a loved one is suffering, call emergency services as soon as possible because it is a well know proverb about it that ” Time lost is brain and cause stroke.

Ischemic stroke and TIA

Both these types are caused by any blockage of vessel or accumulation of any clot within the vessel. These are treated with similar techniques, which include:

  • Antiplatelet and anticoagulants drugs
  • Clot-breaking drugs
  • Mechanical thrombectomy
  • stents
  • surgery

Hemorrhagic stroke

It requires different strategies. Treatment of hemorrhagic one includes:

  • Medications
  • Coiling
  • clamping
  • surgery

Recovering from a stroke

It is important that recovery and rehabilitation from this disease start as soon s possible. Recovery process should begin in the hospital.

Speech therapy

This disease cause trouble speaking, so speech therapists work with you to relearn how to speak, they will help you to communicate in some new way.

Cognitive therapy

Many survivors have changes to their thinking and reasoning skills. This can cause changes in behavioral and mood changes. An occupational therapist can help you to regain your former patterns of thinking and behavior and to control your emotional responses.

Relearning sensory skills

If it causes any sensory loss, you may find that your senses are dulled or no longer working. it means that you do not feel things well, such as temperature, pressure, or pain. A therapist can help you to adjust to this lack of sensation.

Prevention

By living a healthy lifestyle, you can take steps to help it prevent:

  • Quit smoking
  • Consume alcohol in moderation
  • keep weight down
  • Get checkups

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