What is Stroke?
What is Stroke?
Stroke refers to a brain disease caused by either blockage of blood supply or rupture of a blood vessel to a particular part of the brain. This results in reduction of blood and oxygen supply to the affected part of brain resulting in loss of function
What are the common symptoms of stroke ?
A patient with stroke may present with one of the following symptoms or signs:
- Sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body.
- Sudden confusion or difficulty in speaking or understanding
- Sudden problems with vision such as dimness or loss of vision in one or both eyes.
- Sudden dizziness or problems with balance or coordination
- Sudden problems with movement or walking
- Sudden , severe headaches with no other known cause
What are the types of stroke ?
Stroke can be of two types
Ischemic: Occurs due to blockage of blood supply to a part of the brain.
Hemorrhagic: occurs due to rupture of a blood vessel in the Brain, commonly reffered to as brain hemorrhage .
Are some people more likely to suffer from stroke than others ?
Anyone can get a stroke. However, the incidence increases after 40 years of age and is more likely to affect men, as compared to women.
What are the risk factors for stroke ?
Common risk factors include:
- Diabetes mellitus
- High blood cholesterol
- Heart Disease
- Chronic alcoholism
What should one do when suspecting stroke in a friend, relative or oneself?
As effective treatments for stroke work only within the first 3-6 hours of stroke onset , reaching a hospital equipped with modern stroke treatment facilities at the earliest is of utmost importance. Every minute is important. After 3-6 hours, the brain cells are irreversibly damaged and any form of treatment cannot completely reverse the damage. For emergency please call 1066
Why is there a need to act fast?
Modern and effective therapies for stroke work best within the first 3-6 hours. For ischaemic stroke, intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (Actilyse) is effective if used within three hours of stroke onset. Between 3-6 hours, intra arterial Actilyse and urokinase can be used. Beyond six hours, there are no effective therapies available.
For brain hemorrhage, intravenous activated recombinant Factor VII (Novoseven) can be used within four hours of stroke onset. Beyond this, there are no effective therapies available.