If we talk about a stroke, it usually occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is reduced, interrupted or stopped disposing of brain tissue with oxygen and nutrients. Within minutes, the brain cells start to die.
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Well, this condition is a medical emergency, its prompt treatment is crucial. While an early action can minimize the brain damage and possible complications.
What is Stroke?
In medical term, strokes are defined as the brain attacks. A stock occurs when the blood supply to the brain becomes blocked due to any reason and it needs immediate medical attention.
This condition occurs when a part of the brain is disconnected from its blood supply and stops working. this condition is also known as cerebrovascular accident (CVA) or the “brain attack.”
There are two main¬ types of strokes including:
- Ischemic stroke
- Hemorrhagic stroke
What are the Symptoms of Stroke?
There are several symptoms of this condition including;
- Acute change in the level of consciousness or confusion.
- Partial vision loss.
- Paralysis or weakness on the half part of the body.
- Double vision.
- A difficulty with balance and vertigo.
- A difficulty speaking or understanding speech.
What are the Causes of Stroke?
The blockage of an arterial blood vessel in the brain by a clot or thrombosis is the most common cause of a stroke. The part of the brain which supplied the clotted blood vessel is then deprived of blood and oxygen. After this, the cells of that part of the brain die and ultimately the part of the body that it controls stop working.
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
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What are the Risk Factors for Stroke?
There several risk factors for stroke including;
- Overweight or obese
- Heavy or binge drinking
- Use of illicit drugs like methamphetamines and cocaine
- Physical inactivity
- Cigarette smoking
- High cholesterol
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Cardiovascular diseases such as heart failure, heart infection, heart defects or abnormal heart rhythm
- Personal or family history of stroke, transient ischemic attack, and heart attack.
What are the Treatments for Stroke?
As the ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke has different causes, so both the stroke require different forms of treatment.
It is not only important that the type of stroke is diagnosed quickly to reduce the damage to the brain, but also because a treatment appropriate for one type of stroke is harmful to the other type.
Ischemic strokes are caused by blockage or obstruction of the arteries. The treatment aims to restore adequate blood circulation in the brain.
Treatment begins with drugs that break down blood clots and prevent others from forming. Aspirin can be administered as well as Tissue Plasminogen Activator (TPA) injection. TPA dissolves clots very effectively but must be injected within 4 hours of the onset of symptoms.
Emergency procedures include administering TPA directly into an artery of the brain or using a catheter to physically remove the clot. The benefits of these procedures are being studied.
There are other procedures that can be used to reduce the risk of stroke or stroke. A carotid endarterectomy involves a surgeon who opens the carotid artery and removes any plaque that may block it.
Alternately includes angioplasty in which a surgeon inflates a balloon in a stenotic artery with a catheter, and then inserting a braided tubular stent in the opening. This prevents the artery from narrowing again.
Hemorrhagic strokes are caused by blood leakage into the brain. Therefore, the treatment is aimed at controlling bleeding and reducing pressure on the brain.
Treatment may start with a medication that is used to reduce pressure in the brain, control general blood pressure, prevent seizures, and prevent sudden constriction of blood vessels.
If a patient is taking anticoagulants or antiplatelet medication agents such as warfarin or clopidogrel occupies, the drugs can be administered to counter the effects of blood transfusions or medications to make up for blood loss.
Surgery can be used to correct any problem with blood vessels that have caused or could cause hemorrhagic stroke. Surgeons can place small armatures at the base of the aneurysms or fill them with removable coils to stop blood flow and prevent them from tearing.
If bleeding by arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) is caused, the operation can also be used to remove them if they are not too big and not too deep in the brain. AVMs are complex connections between arteries and veins that are weaker and more likely to explode than other normal blood vessels.
How Can You Prevent Stroke?
The best way to prevent this is to resolve its underlying causes. This can be achieved through lifestyle changes such as;
- Eating a healthy diet
- Exercising regularly
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Avoid smoking
- Avoiding alcohol drinking
Eating a nutritious diet means including plenty of vegetables, fruits, and healthy whole grains, seeds, nuts, and legumes. Avoid taking red or processed meat as well as limit the intake of cholesterol and saturated fats. Also, minimize salt intake to support a healthy blood pressure.
Other measures that also help in reducing the risk of stroke include:
- Keeping blood pressure under control
- Treating obstructive sleep apnea
- Managing diabetes
With these lifestyle changes, a doctor may prescribe anticoagulant or antiplatelet medication to reduce the risk of future ischemic strokes. In addition, the arterial surgery is also be used to lower the risk of repeat strokes.
As we all know that stroke is usually occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is reduced, interrupted or stopped disposing of brain tissue with oxygen and nutrients. It’s very easy and necessary to treat the basic symptoms of this disease to avoid¬ a stroke in the future.
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