What is a Stroke ? What Are The Causes of Stroke ? Stroke Treatment Methods - Symptoms

Updated: Nov 8, 2021


What is a Stroke ?


When blood flow to part of your brain is reduced or interrupted, a stroke occurs that prevents brain tissue from getting oxygen and nutrients, and brain cells begin to die within minutes. Temporary or permanent loss of functions occurs in the area where the stroke occurred.


Stroke is a medical emergency and immediate treatment is of paramount importance. Early intervention can reduce brain damage and other complications. Effective treatments can also help prevent disability from stroke.


Contents

1.What is Stroke ?

2.What are the causes of stroke ?

3.Stroke Risk Factors

4.Stroke Complications

5.What are the Symptoms of Stroke (Paralysis) ?

6.What are the Diagnostic Methods of Stroke ?

7.Stroke Treatment methods


What is a Stroke ? What Are The Causes of Stroke ? Stroke Treatment Methods - Symptoms

What are the Causes of Stroke ?


There are 2 types of stroke: a blocked artery (ischemic stroke) or a blood vessel leaking or bursting (hemorrhagic stroke). Some people may suffer a stroke that does not cause permanent symptoms, known as a transient ischemic attack (TIA), which causes a temporary interruption in blood flow to the brain.


Ischemic Stroke


It is the most common type of stroke. The brain's blood vessels become narrowed or blocked, causing severely reduced blood flow (ischemia). Clogged or narrowed blood vessels are caused by fat particles accumulating in the blood vessels, or by blood clots or other debris circulating in the bloodstream and lodged in the blood vessels in the brain.


Hemorrhagic Stroke


A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain leaks or ruptures. Brain hemorrhages can be caused by many conditions that affect your blood vessels.


Hemorrhagic Stroke Factors


-Uncontrolled high blood pressure

-Exposure to overtreatment with blood thinners

-Swelling of blood vessel walls

-Trauma

-Protein deposits that cause weakness in the vessel wall

-Ischemic stroke causing bleeding

-Arteriovenous malformation


Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)


It is a temporary period similar to having a stroke. Temporary volitional attack does not cause any permanent damage. It is caused by a temporary decrease in blood flow to part of the brain. It may take five minutes or less. Just like ismic stroke, transient ismic attack occurs when there is a decrease in blood flow or interruption of blood flow in the presence of a clot.


Because your symptoms improve in a short time, it's a good idea to seek emergency help even if you think you're having a transient ischemic attack. It is not possible to make this assessment based on symptoms alone. If you have a temporary hysterectomy, it means that the arteries to your brain may be blocked or narrowed. Having a transient ischemic attack increases your risk of having a full-blown stroke later on.


Stroke Risk Factors


People over the age of 55 are more likely to have a stroke than younger people. Although the risk of stroke in men is higher than in women, the death rate from stroke in women is higher than in men. Using estrogen-containing birth control pills or hormone treatments increases the risk of stroke.


-Lifestyle risk factors

-Being overweight or obese

-Physical inactivity

-Drug use


Medical Risk Factors


-Hypertension

-Smoking or passive smoking

-High cholesterol

-Diabetes

-Obstructive sleep apnea

-Cardiovascular disease such as heart failure, heart defects, heart infection, or atrial -Fibrillation

-Personal or family history of stroke, heart attack, or transient ischemic attack

-Covid-19 infection


Stroke Complications


Stroke (stroke) is temporary or permanent disability in some areas, depending on how long the brain is devoid of blood flow and which part is affected.


Complications can include:


Paralysis or Loss of Muscle Movement


You may develop paralysis in one part of your body or lose control of certain muscles.


Speech or Swallowing Difficulty


A stroke can take control of the muscles in your mouth and throat, making it difficult for you to speak clearly, swallow, or eat. You may also have difficulties with language-related issues, including speaking, understanding, reading, and writing.


Memory Loss or Difficulty Thinking


Many people who have had a stroke may also experience memory loss. May have difficulty thinking, reasoning, judgment, and understanding concepts.


Emotional problems


People who have had a stroke may have more difficulty controlling their emotions and may become depressed.


Pain


Pain, numbness, or other unusual conditions may occur in parts of the body affected by the stroke.


Behavior Changes


People who have had a stroke may become more withdrawn.


Being aware of the risk factors that can cause a stroke, following your doctor's advice, and adopting a healthy lifestyle are the best steps you can take to prevent stroke. If you have had a previous stroke or transient ischemic attack, the measures you will take can prevent another attack.


Many stroke prevention strategies are similar to heart disease prevention strategies and often include healthy lifestyle advice:


Controlling hypertension: One of the most important things that can be done to reduce the risk of stroke is to keep high blood pressure under control.


Lowering cholesterol and saturated fat: Less fat and cholesterol can reduce the buildup in your arteries. If you can't control your cholesterol with diet change alone, your doctor may prescribe a cholesterol-lowering medication.


Quitting tobacco use: Smoking is a factor that greatly increases the risk of stroke. Therefore, quitting tobacco use would be very accurate in reducing the risk.


Managing diabetes: While diet, exercise, and losing weight can help keep your blood sugar in a healthy range, if not enough, your doctor may prescribe diabetes medication.


Maintaining a healthy weight: Being overweight contributes to other stroke risk factors, such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables: Eating 5 or more servings of fruit or vegetables a day can reduce your risk of stroke.


Exercising regularly: Regular exercise helps to lose weight, control diabetes, reduce stress, which in turn reduces the risk of stroke.


Limiting or eliminating alcohol use: To reduce the risk of stroke, you can limit or eliminate alcohol consumption.


Preventive Medicines


If you have had an ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack, your doctor may recommend medications to help reduce your risk of having another stroke.



What are the Symptoms of Stroke (Paralysis) ?


If you or someone around you is having a stroke, you should pay attention to when the symptoms started. Because some treatment methods are most effective when action is taken right after the stroke (stroke) starts.


Difficulty speaking and understanding what others are saying: You may be confused and have trouble understanding speech.


Paralysis or numbness in the face, arm, or leg: Sudden and intense numbness in your face, arm, or leg may occur. Weakness or paralysis may develop.


Vision problems: You may suddenly experience blurred or darkened vision in one or both eyes, or you may see double.


Headache: A sudden, severe headache that may be accompanied by vomiting, dizziness, or altered consciousness may indicate that you are having a stroke.


Difficulty walking: You may experience sudden dizziness and loss of coordination.

Seek immediate medical attention if any signs of a stroke are felt. Ask them to act quickly and take these steps and gauge their reaction.


Face: Is there sagging on one side of the face when the person smiles?


Hand: Ask the person to raise both arms. Is there an abnormality in the raising of the arms?


Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Do you sense anything strange in his speech?


If one or more of the symptoms occur, seek emergency medical attention immediately. Do not waste time to see if the symptoms will change.


Every minute, every second is of great importance for stroke. The longer a stroke goes untreated, the greater the potential for brain damage and disability. If you are around someone you suspect has had a stroke, watch the person carefully while you wait for emergency help.


What are the Diagnostic Methods of Stroke ?


He or she performs some tests to find out what kind of stroke you have. Some of those;


Physical examination


Your doctor will do a series of tests that you are familiar with, such as listening to your heart and checking your blood pressure. A neurological examination is also done to understand how a potential stroke affects the nervous system.


Blood Tests


It would be correct to apply a few tests to determine the final state of blood coagulation and blood sugar, to check whether the infection is present.


Computed Tomography(CT)


This scan may show bleeding, ischemic stroke, tumor, or other conditions.


Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)


An MRI uses powerful radio waves and magnets to create a detailed view of your brain. MRI is used to detect damaged brain tissue in ischemic stroke and cerebral hemorrhage.


Carotid Ultrasound


Detailed images of the inside of the carotid alters in your neck can be viewed.


Cerebral Angiogram


This procedure gives a detailed view of the arteries in your brain and neck.


Echocardiogram


It creates detailed images of the heart and if a clot is present to cause a stroke, its source can be identified.


Stroke Treatment Methods


Emergency treatment modalities for stroke (stroke) vary depending on whether it is ischemic stroke or hemorrhagic stroke.


To treat ischemic stroke, doctors must quickly restore blood flow to your brain:


Emergency Medication


Medication to break up the clot that has formed should be given within 4.5 hours of the onset of symptoms. The sooner these drugs are given, the better. Rapid treatment not only increases your chances of survival, but also reduces possible complications.


Emergency Endovascular Procedures


Doctors sometimes go the way of treating ischemic strokes directly within the clogged blood vessel. According to endovascular treatment results, it showed significant improvement and reduced long-term disability. These procedures should be carried out as soon as possible.


Drugs Given Directly to the Brain


The doctor inserts a long, thin tube through an artery in your groin to deliver tPA directly to where the stroke occurred. It lasts slightly longer than injected tPA.


Clot Removal with a Stent Collector


Doctors may use a device attached to a catheter to directly remove the clot from the blocked blood vessel in your brain.


Other Procedures


Procedures such as opening an artery narrowed by plaque may be followed to reduce your risk of having a transient ischemic attack or other stroke. The available options vary depending on the situation:

Carotid Endarterectomy


This surgery removes the plaque blocking the carotid artery and may reduce your risk of ischemic stroke.


Angioplasty and Stents


In angioplasty, a catheter is pushed through an artery in your groin into your carotid arteries. A stent may then be placed to widen the narrowed artery.

Emergency treatment of hemorrhagic stroke focuses on controlling the bleeding and reducing the pressure in your brain caused by excess fluid. Treatment options include:


Emergency measures


When blood-thinning drugs are taken to prevent blood clots, you may be given drugs or a transfusion of blood products to counteract the blood-thinning effects.


Stroke Surgery


If the bleeding area is large, your doctor may want to perform surgery to remove the blood and reduce the pressure in your brain.

You will be closely monitored for at least 1 day after emergency treatment. The next phases include activities in your recovery and return to independent living. If the stroke has affected the right side of the brain, movements and sensations on the left side of the body are affected.


Most stroke survivors participate in a rehabilitation program. The treatment program will be shaped depending on your age, general health status, and degree of disability due to stroke.



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