Stroke

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A stroke occurs when there is a sudden disruption in blood flow to the brain, usually because a blood vessel bursts or is blocked by a clot. This deprives the brain tissue of oxygen and food, and can cause permanent damage to brain cells in a matter of minutes. According to the World Health Organization , 15 million people worldwide suffer a stroke each year. Of these, 5 million die and another 5 million are left permanently disabled. This makes strokes the second leading cause of death in the world. Although stroke carries a high risk of death, the effects of a stroke may be mild or severe, temporary or permanent. This depends on a number of factors including which brain cells are damaged, how much of the brain is affected and how quickly the blood supply is restored to the area. A person with stroke symptoms needs immediate medical attention. These symptoms come on very quickly, and commonly consist of sudden numbness in one side of the body, and problems with walking, balance, speaking and vision. With prompt treatment, brain damage and further complications can be minimised. The good news is that strokes can be treated and prevented with better control of major risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Learn more about how you can minimise your risk and recognise the warning signs of stroke in this section.

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As different areas of the brain are responsible for different functions, the symptoms of stroke vary depending on which area of the brain is damaged. If you think that you or someone else may be having a stroke, some warning signs to look for are: Paralysis or numbness of the face, arm, or leg – especially on one side of the body Sudden trouble with walking, suc

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A stroke is caused by the sudden interruption of the blood supply to the brain. There are two types of stroke: ischemic and hemorrhagic. Ischemic stroke is by far the most common type of stroke, accounting for a large majority of strokes. It occurs as a result of an obstruction within a blood vessel supplying blood to the brain. The American Association of Neurological Surgeon

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To diagnose a stroke, your doctor will first ask you questions about your symptoms and review your medical history for stroke risk factors. He or she will also conduct a physical exam to check your mental alertness and your coordination and balance. During the physical exam, your doctor may look for signs of numbness or weakness in your face, arms, and legs and assess whether y

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Generally there are three treatment stages for stroke: prevention, therapy immediately after the stroke (acute stroke therapy), and post-stroke rehabilitation. Prevention Therapies for stroke prevention treat your underlying risk factors for stroke such as high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation and diabetes. Preventative treatment is often focused on healthy lifestyle ch

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Knowing your stroke risk factors and adopting a healthy lifestyle are the best steps you can take to prevent a stroke. Some tips are: Control high blood pressure (hypertension) and/or manage atrial fibrillation: These conditions are both risk factors for a stroke. Managing and controlling them with prescribed medications, such as anticoagulants and antihypertensives, ca

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