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Stroke; Types, Symptoms, Risk Factors and Treatment

What is a Stroke?

Stroke; Types, Symptoms, Risk Factors and Treatment

Stroke is a medical emergency condition that is caused either by obstruction of the artery supplying the brain or due to rupture of the artery carrying blood to the brain. It is a very common problem that is regarded as the number fourth killer in the United States. It is equally common in the rest of the world.

Types of Stroke

There are two types of strokes on the basis of underlying pathology.

Ischemic Stroke

It occurs due to a decrease in blood flow to the brain by one of the following mechanisms.

  • Narrowing of the arteries supplying the brain as a result of long-term deposition of lipids in the vessel walls, a condition termed as atherosclerosis.
  • Blockage of the vessels supplying the brain by a clot that has reached these vessels from somewhere else in the circulation.

Hemorrhagic stroke

It occurs to the rupture of an artery in the brain. The blood leaks out into the brain tissue as well as the part of the brain past the site of rupture is going to be deprived of the blood flow and thus oxygen. Both of these mechanisms are going to produce brain damage.

Symptoms of a Stroke

The symptoms of the stroke depend on which area of the brain has suffered damage. In general, Stroke can present in the form of sudden onset weakness of face, upper or lower limb. Usually, these symptoms involve only one side of the body; however, there could be involvement of both the side as well. The patient may be unable to walk, smile, talk or see.

Risk Factors for Stroke

The factors that increases the risk of stroke are summarized below

  • High Blood Cholesterol Levels
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Sedentary life style
  • Indulgence in heavy drinking
  • Cocaine addiction
  • Use of oral contraceptive pills
  • Elderly age
  • Female sex

Treatment of Stroke

The treatment of a stroke depends on the kind of stroke you had; whether it was a hemorrhagic or an ischemic stroke.

Ischemic Stroke

The main options available for the treatment of ischemic stroke are as under

Thrombolytics:

They can restore blood supply to the brain by breaking the clot that is blocking the artery supplying the brain.  It is always great to start them as soon as possible and the maximum window of time that you can use these medications in stroke patients is only four hours. Once it has been more than 4 hours since the start of the stroke events, the use of these medications may cause lethal side effects without causing even a single positive effect.

Aspirin

Once you get a stroke you are put on aspirin right away. This therapy is not meant to relieve the symptoms of stroke rather it is aimed to prevent the occurrence of the second stroke.

Clopidogrel

Clopidogrel is also aimed to prevent the recurrence of stroke and it does so without producing the unwanted side effects caused by long-term use of aspirin.

Hemorrhagic stroke

The important steps for the management of Hemorrhagic stroke are summarized below.

  • Stopping use of drugs such as aspiring and Warfarin
  • Use of fluid, blood or blood products to cope up with the blood loss
  • Lower the pressure inside the brain by using drugs such as Mannitol
  • Surgery to repair the damaged vessels

If you suffered a stroke, talk to the best physical therapist at Century Medical and Dental Center (Downtown Brooklyn, Gravesend, and Flatbush) to see which exercises will help you gain back mobility.

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