Stroke is a cerebrovascular disease that occurs when a blood vessel that supplies blood to the brain bursts or becomes blocked with a blood clot or other particle. When the blood supply that carries oxygen to the brain is stopped, the brain cells cannot function and die. This is the brain equivalent of a heart attack.
This is also known as a cerebrovascular accident (CVA), embolism, or thrombosis.
Types of strokes
There are two kinds:
- Hemorrhagic Stroke or Cerebral Hemorrhage: a rupture of a blood vessel causing bleeding into the surrounding brain.
- Ischemic Stroke: a restriction or disruption of blood supply to brain tissue.
What causes a stroke?
Are Strokes Avoidable? The answer is clear and conclusive: yes.
Non-modifiable risk factors for CVA include age, gender, race / ethnicity, family history, and a previous CVA:
- Age: The risk of CVA increases with age and doubles every ten years after 55 years.
- Gender: Men and women have roughly the same number of embolisms, but more than half of deaths from CVA occur in women.
- Race / Ethnicity: Blacks are at higher risk of death and disability than whites because this group is more likely to have high blood pressure.
- Family history: A close relative with a history of CVA increases your risk of CVA.
- Previous stroke: Victims of CVA are at higher risk of getting another one.
There are others, however Risk factors that can be controlled::
- Tobacco use
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Illegal drug use
- High blood cholesterol
- Sedentary lifestyle,
- Salt and high fat diet
- Heart conditions such as atrial fibrillation
The goal is to correct these risk factors to prevent CVA.
Some CVA prevention strategies recommended by the Spanish Society of Neurology (Sociedad Española de Neurología) include healthy habits such as:
- Following a nutritious, healthy diet
- Exercise regularly
- Quit tobacco use
- Drink alcohol in moderation
- Regular control of high blood pressure
Stroke symptoms: the importance of early detection of CVA
What are the signs of a stroke?
If left untreated, CVA can lead to irreversible damage and possibly even death. Learning the warning signs of a stroke is important to minimize the consequences.
Symptoms of a CVA:
- Weakness or numbness of the face, arm and / or leg on one side of the body
- Loss of vision or double vision
- Confusion, difficulty speaking, or trouble understanding language
- Severe headache with no known cause
- Dizziness, loss of balance, or loss of coordination
Treatment of stroke
What should you do if someone (or even yourself) has one? CVA? It is important to get to the hospital as soon as possible to receive emergency neurological care as some treatments must be started within the first few hours of symptoms appearing. The earlier the patient is treated, the better their chances of survival and recovery.
During treatment for stroke depends on whether it is ischemic or hemorrhagic, whichever it should start as soon as possible. In some cases, surgery may be needed to remove the blood clot from an artery.
Eventually, depending on the consequences of CVA, patients undergo rehabilitation, which includes physical therapy to restore mobility in the areas affected as a result of paralysis. However, it’s also important to consider that the recovery process after a CVA goes well beyond physical rehabilitation. Stroke survivors should also start cognitive rehabilitation therapy to help them restore as much function as possible.
Based on these considerations, we will recommend Stroke rehabilitation exercises.
Professional neurorehabilitation tool
Stroke: what is it? Types, causes, symptoms and prevention
Do you know what a stroke is? All information on types, symptoms, causes, prevention factors, treatment and cognitive rehabilitation.
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