Stroke - Symptoms & Treatment
A stroke occurs when the blood supply to a part of your brain is interrupted or severely reduced, depriving brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients. Stroke is a medical emergency. There are two broad categories of stroke those caused by a blockage of blood flow and those caused by bleeding. The effects of a stroke depend on where the brain was injured, as well as how much damage occurred. Prompt treatment of a stroke could mean the difference between life and death. A stroke is a sudden loss of brain function. Bleeding into the brain or the spaces surrounding the brain causes the second type of stroke, called hemorrhagic stroke. In the United States, stroke is a leading cause of adult disability and the third-leading cause of death only heart disease and cancer cause more deaths annually. The good news is that many fewer Americans now die of strokes than was the case 20 or 30 years ago. Risk factors include advanced age hypertension (high blood pressure) diabetes mellitus , high cholesterol and cigarette smoking . Cigarette smoking is the most important modifiable risk factor of stroke. Many hospitals have "brain attack" teams within their neurology departments specifically for swift treatment of stroke.
Causes of Stroke
The common Causes of Stroke :
- A blood vessel in the brain bursts and bleeds into the surrounding brain tissue causes a stroke.
- The part of the brain that is supplied by the clotted blood vessel is lack of blood and oxygen, and cells of that part of the brain die. Typically, a clot that form in a blood vessel which is previously narrowed due to atherosclerosis .
- This is a weakened spot on an artery wall that causes it to stretch a bit like a balloon. The vessel wall may become so thin and stretched it bursts causing bleeding into the brain - a haemmorhagic stroke.
- This is a kind of irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia). It can cause a blood clot to form in the heart which can shear off and travel to the brain.
Symptoms of Stroke
Some Symptoms of Stroke :
- Loss of memory
- Weakness or paralysis
- Uncontrollable eye movements or eyelid drooping
- Vision changes
- Swallowing difficulties
- Numbness ,
- Loss of balance or coordination
- Tingling ,
- Mood changes ( depression , apathy ) Drowsiness ,
- Lethargy ,
- Loss of consciousness
Treatment of Stroke
- Treatment of blood pressure that is too high or too low
- Controlling the blood sugar (glucose) level may minimize the size of a stroke.
- Drugs that could dissolve blood clots may be used in stroke treatment.
- For hemorrhagic stroke, surgery is often required to remove pooled blood from the brain and to repair damaged blood vessels.
- Uses of anticoagulation, which minimizes blood clotting.
- To improve strength and walking
- In other circumstances, blood thinners such as heparin and coumadin are used to treat strokes. Aspirin and other anti-platelet agents may be used as well.