Stroke attack – a serious condition
A stroke can happen to anyone at anytime. The stroke occurs when blood flow, which goes into one area of your brain, is cut off. This results in dying of brain cells due to lack of oxygen and that leads to losing abilities that were controlled by that particular area of the brain which was cut off.
Stroke: A life – changing event
One of the most dramatic medical emergencies happens around patients experiencing stroke and stroke – like conditions. Across the USA, one person dies because of a stroke every four minutes. Every interrupted blood supply to your brain puts your neurons and other brain cells at high risk of getting seriously damaged or dying after just a few minutes if the help fails. This happens when the blood flow is blocked or when the blood vessel ruptures. Accordingly, experts differ three main types of stroke: ischemic, hemorrhagic stroke and so-called TIA – transient ischemic attack or mini-stroke.
How to recognize it if it strikes?
The main characteristic of every stroke is that it happens quickly and unexpected. The symptoms develop suddenly, in just several minutes, leaving minimal time to react properly. According to this, clinicians advice “FAST” mnemonic for easy recognizing of stroke’s symptoms. F stand for face and the alarming sign is dropping off one side of the person’s face. A is for arms. You should look for signs of one arm drifting downwards or feeling numb. S is for speech which tends to be slurred and disrupted. Letter T is a reminder of – time! Since the outcome of developing stroke highly depends on prompt medical help, every minute is important, and the help should be called immediately. In addition to these, the patient may report trouble with seeing or walking, severe headache or nausea.
What therapy options are there?
Different types of stroke are caused by different factors and require different treatment approach. As much as it’s important to start the treatment as soon as possible, it’s equally important to diagnose the exact type of the stroke properly. Ischemic strokes are usually caused by clogged artery and blocked blood supply. Thus, the treatment mostly consists of methods to restore blood flow. These methods can include medications, such as Aspirin or surgical procedures, such as endarterectomy or angioplasty. Hemorrhagic strokes are bleeding into brains tissue from a ruptured blood vessel, so the therapy focuses onto bleeding control. Bleeding is usually a complication of high blood pressure, so the other part of therapy includes ways to lower blood pressure.
How to recover and cope with consequences?
Depending on the severity of the stroke, the damaged area of the brain and the success of the therapy, stroke can leave life – changing physical and psychological consequences. Gaining back the control over your body and your whole life is become easier nowadays when various rehabilitative methods are available. Most of the patients visit speech and physical therapy regularly. Restoring normal movements, coordination and communication are highly achieved through these activities. Occupational therapy helps patients to regain their ability to perform everyday’s tasks. Also, many patients join various support groups to share experiences and advice with similar patients.
Promising results of a recent study
A team of scientists at Manchester Metropolitan University has come up with a sensory device meant to help patients who survived stroke to recover their normal walking. The device is adapted to sense the symmetry of walking when the patients carry it and when there is a deviation, it triggers vibrations, notifies and navigates the carrier. If guided properly via this small device, stroke patients could recover their mobility and consequentially regain their social life, instead of being condemned to isolation and tied to bed.
Protecting yourself from cerebrovascular insult
Cutting off as many risk factors as you can is the best you can do. Lower your weight by increasing physical activity. Lower your cholesterol by eating healthier. Sleep more, drink less and preferably quit the smoking completely. Stick to the medical therapies for high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes, especially if you have positive family history exposing you to higher risk.