Heart and Stroke Edmonton - A stroke means the rapidly developing loss of brain function which is brought on by a disturbance in the brain's blood supply. Strokes can be caused by blockage, called an arterial embolism or thrombosis, can be a result of lack of blood flow, called ischemia or be a result of haemorrhage or blood leakage. A stroke is a medical emergency that requires immediate care. It can lead to permanent complications, neurological damage and fatality.
The affected area of the brain loses normal functioning, when a stroke occurs. These can manifest in the loss of visual field in one side of the body, loss of limb movement on one side of the body, or an inability to formulate or understand speech. A stroke was formerly called a CVA cerebrovascular accident.
In Europe and in the US, stroke is the leading reason for disability. Throughout the rest of the world, it is the 2nd leading reason for death in the world. The risk factors for stroke comprise: hypertension or high blood pressure, high cholesterol, old age, previous stroke, TIA or likewise known as transient ischemic attack, arterial fibrillation and smoking. The most important modifiable risk factor for stroke is high blood pressure.
Patients might experience a silent stroke in which they are not aware they have had a stroke and where they do not show any external signs. Brain damage may result from a silent stroke, even if identifiable symptoms are not caused during the stroke. It also places the patient at a higher risk for both a transient ischemic attack and a major stroke in the future. In addition, individuals who have suffered a major stroke before are at risk of having silent stroke.
The silent stroke would often cause brain lesions which could be detected through the use of neuro-imaging techniques like for instance MRIs. Silent strokes have been estimated to take place five times the rate of symptomatic stroke. The risk of stroke increases with age and it may also affect adults and younger children, specially those who suffer acute anaemia.
Hospitals will usually treat an ischemic stroke with a "clot buster," or thrombolysis. To treat hemorrhagic strokes, some can benefit from neurosurgery. Stroke rehabilitation is used in reference to treat and recover any lost function. Typically, this takes place within a stroke unit and involves several health care practitioners like for example speech therapists, language therapists and physical and occupational therapists. The administration of anti-platelet drugs like for example dipyridamole and aspirin can help prevent it from happening for a second time. The use of statins and the reduction and control of hypertension could likewise contribute to prevention. Some individuals can benefit from utilizing carotid endarterectomy and anticoagulants.
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