Stroke is a sudden interruption in the blood supply of the brain. According to the World Health Organization, stroke is the second leading cause of death worldwide.
15 million strokes occur worldwide each year. 12.7 million strokes occur due to high blood pressure and about 6.2 million are fatal. 80% of people who experienced a stroke have one or more risk factors for stroke such as smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, lack of physical activity, or obesity. The risk of stroke in smokers is doubled. Only five years after quitting smoking, the risk becomes the same as in a non-smoker. 30% of people who have had a stroke seek medical help after 24 hours or more.
1. Ischemic stroke is less dangerous than hemorrhagic
There are two types of strokes:
- Ischemic stroke (associated with blockage of the cerebral artery)
- hemorrhagic stroke (associated with rupture of the cerebral artery)
In the case of hemorrhagic stroke, the risk that the patient dies within a year is 46%. And this is despite the fact that not a single type of treatment for hemorrhagic stroke has yet proven its effectiveness.
2. Time is valuable
Ischemic stroke is more common (80% of cases) than hemorrhagic stroke (20% of cases). In the case of any type of stroke, time is valuable. Ischemic penumbra forms in the brain during stroke in addition to partial brain necrosis. This area is still not damaged and therefore, doctors always try to save it.
90 minutes after a stroke requires the use of thrombolytic therapy (the introduction into the vein of a drug that dissolves a blood clot). 24 hours after a stroke is when blood clot removal may be effective.
3. Cognitive recovery after a stroke can be effective
20-30% of patients experience significant cognitive impairment leading to dementia following a stroke. However, less severe cognitive disorders are found in almost everyone. In 6-12 months, almost all cognitive functions can be restored.
However, this will depend on factors such as the size of the damaged brain area, the age of the patient, and timely health assistance.
4. Use the FAST test to recognize a stroke
The FAST test (face-arm-speech-time) will help you to quickly recognize a stroke.
- Face. Check a person’s face. Has the mouth drooped?
- Hands. Ask a person to lift both hands. If a person can’t lift both hands, it’s a sign of stroke.
- Speech. Check a person’s speech. Is it slurred? Does a person understand you?
- Time is critical. If you see any of these signs, call 911 right away.
5. Stroke rehabilitation should start as soon as possible
The success of stroke rehabilitation depends on many factors, including its intensity and regularity (at least 6 hours a day, 7 days a week). Neurologist in Brooklyn is a specialist who focuses on cognitive and emotional skills. Stroke rehab also involves such specialists as physical therapists, physicians, and psychologists. The most modern methods are ergotherapy, VR technology, and telerehabilitation. Remember that even slight spikes in high blood pressure are a reason to consult your doctor.