A stroke is a “brain attack”.
A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of your brain is interrupted or reduced, depriving brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients. Within minutes, brain cells begin to die. When brain cells die during a stroke, abilities controlled by that area of the brain such as memory and muscle control are lost.
How a person is affected by their stroke depends on where the stroke occurs in the brain and how much the brain is damaged. For example, someone who had a small stroke may only have minor problems such as temporary weakness of an arm or leg. People who have larger strokes may be permanently paralyzed on one side of their body or lose their ability to speak. Some people recover completely from strokes, but more than 2/3 of survivors will have some type of disability.
When to see a doctor?
Seek immediate medical attention if you notice any signs or symptoms of a stroke, even if they seem to fluctuate or disappear. The main symptoms of stroke can be remembered with the word F.A.S.T.
Think “FAST” and do the following:
Face. Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
Arms. Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward? Or is one arm unable to rise up?
Speech. Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is his or her speech slurred or strange?
Time. If you observe any of these signs, call ER immediately.
Stroke is a medical emergency. If you see any of the signs of stroke call ER immediately.Don’t wait to see if symptoms stop. Every minute counts. The longer a stroke goes untreated, the greater the potential for brain damage and disability.
A transient ischemic attack (TIA) — sometimes known as a ministroke — is a temporary period of symptoms similar to those you'd have in a stroke. A temporary decrease in blood supply to part of your brain causes TIAs, which may last as little as five minutes.
Like an ischemic stroke, a TIA occurs when a clot or debris blocks blood flow to part of your nervous system — but there is no permanent tissue damage and no lasting symptoms.
Seek emergency care even if your symptoms seem to clear up. Having a TIA puts you at greater risk of having a full-blown stroke, causing permanent damage later. If you've had a TIA, it means there's likely a partially blocked or narrowed artery leading to your brain or a clot source in the heart.
Incidence and Prevalence of stroke in India:
Incidence of stroke - 105 to 152/100,000 persons per year
Prevalence of stroke - 44.29 to 559/100,000 persons
These values are higher than those of high-income countries.
Many factors can increase your stroke risk. Some factors can also increase your chances of having a heart attack. Potentially treatable stroke risk factors include:
Lifestyle risk factors
Hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel in your brain leaks or ruptures.
Knowing your stroke risk factors, following your doctor's recommendations and adopting a healthy lifestyle are the best steps you can take to prevent a stroke. If you've had a stroke or a transient ischemic attack (TIA), these measures might help prevent another stroke. The follow-up care you receive in the hospital and afterward also may play a role as well.
Many stroke prevention strategies are the same as strategies to prevent heart disease. In general, healthy lifestyle recommendations include:
Treatment depends on the type of stroke you have, including which part of the brain was affected and what caused it.
Strokes are usually treated with medication. This includes medicines to prevent and dissolve blood clots, reduce blood pressure and reduce cholesterol levels.
In some cases, procedures may be required to remove blood clots. Surgery may also be required to treat brain swelling and reduce the risk of further bleeding in cases of haemorrhagic strokes
Emergency treatment with medications. Therapy with clot-busting drugs must start within 4.5 hours if they are given into the vein — and the sooner, the better. Quick treatment not only improves your chances of survival but also may reduce complications.
Intravenous injection of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA). This injection of recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), also called alteplase, is considered the gold standard treatment for ischemic stroke. An injection of tPA is usually given through a vein in the arm. This potent clot-busting drug ideally is given within three hours. In some instances, tPA can be given up to 4.5 hours after stroke symptoms begin. This drug restores blood flow by dissolving the blood clot causing your stroke, and it may help people who have had strokes recover more fully.
Emergency endovascular procedures. Sometimes to treat ischemic strokes (especially if large artery is occluded with clo) mechanical thrombectomy is needed. This procedure must be performed as soon as possible, depending on features of the blood clot:
Up to 80 percent of strokes can be prevented. Identifying and addressing mechanism of stroke is important.
How can I prevent a stroke or having another stroke? You can prevent a stroke by knowing and controlling your risk factors. There are a number of factors that increase your risk of stroke. Some of the risk factors for stroke you cannot do anything about. These include age, gender, family history of stroke and previous stroke or TIA . There are a number of risk factors you can do something about to reduce your chances of having a stroke:
High blood pressure is one of the most important known risk factors for stroke.