What is a stroke?
A stroke is the sudden death of brain cells in a localized area caused either by inadequate blood flow (arterial closure, clotting) or cerebral hemorrhage (cranial cavity hemorrhage due to vascular injury). Most strokes occur in the morning hours. Stroke is the second leading cause of death after heart disease.
What are the symptoms of a stroke?
Depending on which part of the brain is injured and how severely it is affected, the effects of a stroke may cause functional disorder or incapacity. The sudden onset of the following may be symptoms of a stroke: blindness, double vision, comprehension difficulties, speech disorder, confusion, dizziness, headache, unconsciousness, paralysis of a body part. The ambulance should be called immediately even upon suspicion of a stroke. Time is essential. The earlier the patient receives treatment the better chance for survival and for total recovery.
What does a stroke examination entail?
Ideally the Patient would be cared for in a hospital stroke department. The examination includes a physical, an ultrasound of the neck arteries and either a CT or MRI of the head. Once the diagnosis is made the best treatment can then be determined.
Preventing a stroke
As in the case of cardiovascular diseases, stroke can be prevented by eliminating the risk factors and living a healthy life style. The risk factors are: high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, elevated blood fat, obesity and a sedentary life style. Certain arrhythmias, sleep disorders, etc. may also in some way be responsible for a stroke, thus, proper treatment of these disorders is imperative in its prevention.