What is Stroke?
A stroke refers to “brain attack” that occurs when blood supply to an area of brain is cut off and due to this, brain cells in that region are not able to get sufficient oxygen. As a result of this, brain cells begin to die and the abilities controlled by that area of brain such as memory or muscle control are lost. A stroke can happen to anyone irrespective of his age and gender. It is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment. Early treatment can greatly reduce the damage caused to the brain and therefore can minimise the complications.
What causes Stroke?
The most common causes of stroke are:
- Blocked artery
- Leaking or bursting of blood vessel
- Temporary disruption of blood flow to brain
There are certain risk factors that increase the chances of stroke, namely:
- Lack of exercise
- Excessive alcohol abuse
- Use of illicit drugs
- Cigarette smoking
- High BP and high cholesterol
- Cardiovascular disease
What are the symptoms of Stroke?
The various signs and symptoms of stroke are:
- Trouble speaking and understanding
- Paralysis or numbness of the face, arm or leg
- Trouble in vision
- Difficulty in walking
How can Stroke be treated?
The treatment for stroke depends on the kind of stroke you are having that involves ischemic stroke due to blocked artery or hemorrhagic stroke due to bleeding into the brain.
- For Ischemic stroke, certain medications are given immediately to restore blood flow to the brain. At times, emergency procedures are performed depending on the blood clot like medication given directly to brain through catheter or mechanical clot removal. Other procedures are Carotid Endarterectomy, Angioplasty and stents.
- For Hemorrhagic stroke, medication may be given to control bleeding and to reduce pressure in your brain. Surgery may also be done in order to reduce future risk of stroke. Various surgical methods that are done include surgical clipping, coiling, surgical AVM removal, Intracranial bypass and stereotactic radiosurgery.