World Stroke Day 2021 is celebrated on Friday, October 29, to celebrate the new treatments that show promise and the old precautions that have proven to prevent stroke. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), stroke is the second leading cause of death globally, and about one in four people are in danger of developing the condition in their lifetime.
(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
A revealing look at the stroke brain: This image combines pre-and post-treatment scans from the same patient. Analysis of the two scans revealed that the area and size of post-treatment bleeding corresponded to blood-brain barrier disruption (shown in green, yellow, and red) before therapy.
World Stroke Day
Stroke is a condition that happens when a part of the brain experiences loss of blood flow. Medline Plus explains that cells in the brain start to die within a few minutes when they do not get the oxygen and nutrients they need from the blood, causing brain damage, long-term disability, or death.
There are two types of stroke: ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke. Ischemic stroke is caused by a blood clot that blocks blood flow in the blood vessel in the brain, which accounts for 80% of stroke cases. Meanwhile, hemorrhagic stroke is caused by a broken blood vessel that causes bleeding in the brain.
Furthermore, a condition similar to stroke called transient ischemic attack (TIA) is sometimes called a “mini-stroke” because they happen when the blood supply in the brain is blocked for a short time, which leaves temporary damage to brain cells. Patents who experience TIA also have a higher risk of having a stroke.
On celebrating World Stroke Day, WHO reiterates its commitment to supporting countries, especially in areas where cases are high, to strengthen services that aim to reduce the incidence, enhance detection, improve treatment, and increase people’s access to quality healthcare and rehabilitative services.
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“FAST” Response to Stroke
Certain factors increase anyone’s risk of a stroke, including high blood, diabetes, heart diseases, smoking, family history, age, race, obesity, high cholesterol, unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity, and alcohol and illegal drugs.
For people who have comorbidities, it is important to watch out for symptoms that happen quickly. These symptoms include sudden weakness of the face and arms, sudden confusion, sudden trouble seeing, sudden difficulty in walking or dizziness, and sudden severe headaches.
South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported that doctors recommend the “FAST” response when dealing with stroke, an acronym for Facial drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulties, and Time to call 911 to get help.
Some clinicians also added -ER, which stands for Eyes and React. This response method aims to limit damage after a person has a stroke since they could lose around 1.9 million brain cells untreated every minute stroke.
Treatments for Stroke
Treatments for stroke usually include medicine, surgery, and rehabilitation. Patients are given appropriate treatments for their condition as it could vary per type of stroke, according to Medline Plus.
For instance, acute treatment stops a stroke while it is happening, while post-stroke rehabilitation is applied to overcome disabilities caused by the condition. But preventing a stroke is always the best course, such as having a healthy diet and regular exercise.
Many patients have received a minimally invasive procedure to retrieve blood clots blocking a large artery in recent years. Doctors said that results are best if done as soon as possible.
Increasing research hopes to determine how the brain adapts and changes after stroke to gain its neuroplasticity. This will help understand and develop new treatments to enhance post-stroke recovery.
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Check out more news and information on Stroke in Science Times.