What to know about Stroke?

Stroke is defined as brain damage that happens when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted. Resultantly, the brain tissues get deprived of oxygen and nutrients, and they die in a minute. It is a medical emergency. Early and efficient treatment could reduce the damage.

Signs and symptoms

The symptoms of stroke include:

  • Trouble in hearing what others are saying, and speaking words. A patient also experiences mental confusion.
  • A patient may experience sudden numbness, paralysis in arms, face, or legs. Often one side of the body gets affected.
  • Blurred or blackened vision is also a sign of stroke.
  • In a stroke, a patient may also experience dizziness, nausea, or altered consciousness.
  • A patient also stumbles or losses his/her balance.

Causes of Stroke

The stroke happens because of two main reasons: one is the leading of blood vessels by bursting or leaking, and second is the blockage of an artery.

Types of stroke

There are three types of stroke:

Ischemic Stroke 

It is a common type of stroke. The reason for this type of stroke is the narrowing or blocking of blood vessels, which reduces the flow of blood to the brain known as Ischemia. The blood vessels become narrowed and blocked because of the clotting in them, the buildup of fatty deposits in them, and the passing of debris in them.

Hemorrhagic Stroke

A brain suffers this type of stroke when the blood vessels in the brain leak or rupture. The blood vessels leak or rupture owing to various reasons that include,

  • Ischemic stroke can lead to hemorrhagic stroke
  • Continuous uncontrolled high blood pressure.
  • Trauma that causes head injury.
  • The buildup of protein deposits in the blood vessels of the brain cause weakness of the walls of the blood vessels also known as cerebral amyloid antipathy.
  • Bulges in the blood vessels at the weak spots
  • Overuse of anticoagulants.
  • Rupture of the abnormal twist of thin-walled blood vessels also known as arteriovenous malformation that causes bleeding in a brain.
  • Transient ischemic attack

This is also known as the mini-stroke. It causes less damage. The stroke happens to owe to the decrease in the blood supply to the brain for at least five minutes. The blood supply may be reduced owing to debris or clot in the blood vessels of a brain.

Risk Factors of Stroke

  • A brain stroke can happen owing to many factors including both lifestyles, medical, and health.
  • Lifestyle factors include heavy drinking, use of illegal drugs, smoking, obesity, physical inactivity, and a lethargic lifestyle.
  • Health factors include high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, drug addiction, family history of stroke, cardiovascular problems, stress disorders, and obstructive sleep apnea.
  • Old people are more at risk of brain stroke
  • Other than this, high use of birth control pills or hormonal therapies could also lead to stroke

The complication caused by a brain stroke 

A brain stroke can cause paralysis, memory loss, and emotional instability, difficulty in swallowing and chewing, pain in the head and body, and behavioral changes.

Precautionary Measures

  • A brain stroke can be prevention by taking precautionary measures that include
  • Healthy lifestyle-daily exercise and use of cholesterol-free food.
  • Avoid smoking and use of drugs
  • Maintenance of healthy weight
  • Treatment of high blood pressure
  • Efforts to remain relaxed, and avoid stress and depression.
  • Regular doctor checkup in case of medical issues.

Diagnosis of a brain stroke

A doctor diagnosed a brain stroke by asking for medical history, medicines that have been taken by a patient, and by examining the situation at the time of stroke. A doctor has also done the following tests depending on the situation.
Physical tests that include evaluation of coordination, balance, numbness in legs and arms, weakness, vision problems, and signs of confusion
Blood tests may also be recommended by a doctor that includes blood sugar level, blood platelet level, blood infection (if any), and how fast the blood clots have been building.
Other than this, a doctor may also ask for magnetic resonance imaging MRI, computerized tomography CT scan, electrocardiogram EKG, cerebral angiogram, carotid ultrasound, and echocardiogram to analyze the internal structure of the brain.

Medication for the treatment of a brain stroke

Following medicines are used for the treatment and prevention of a brain stroke.

  • Anti-platelets drugs include aspirin, Aggrenox, dipyridamole, and clopidogrel. Platelets are the cells that form clots in the blood vessels. The anti-platelets drugs make these cells less sticky, thereby preventing the clotting in the blood vessels.
  • Anti-coagulant drugs are also used in the prevention of stroke. These drugs reduce clotting on the blood vessels. These are blood-thinning drugs. Heparin, warfarin, dabigatran, rivaroxaban, apixaban, and edoxaban are the names of the anticoagulant drugs.
  • Thrombolytic drugs are used for the breakdown of the clots in the blood vessels. These help in impeding a stroke, and reduce the damage to a brain. The Alteplase IV r-tPA or tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) is one of these drugs that is used in the treatment of ischemic stroke.
  • Blood pressure drugs to control high blood pressure are also used to prevent a brain stroke.
  • In the case of hemorrhage stroke, anti-blood thinner medicines are used.

Other treatments for a brain stroke

  • Mechanical thrombectomy- In this treatment, doctors insert a catheter in the large blood vessel of the brain. Then a device is used to pull out a clot from the blood vessel. The treatment is effective within six hours to twenty-four hours of a brain stroke.
  • In the case of weak artery walls, doctors use stents to support them.
  • Doctors do open surgery of arteries to remove the blockage if other treatments fail to prevent a stroke.
  • In the case of hemorrhage stroke, a weak artery is supported by a coil like a device- a process known as coiling. The areas of the ruptured artery that are not bleeding known as an aneurysm. These areas are supported by clamps to prevent bleeding in the brain, this process is known as clamping. The craniotomy is done when a brain undergoes huge damage as a result of a stroke. In this process, an aneurysm is clipped by surgery.

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