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Stroke: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Stroke: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Incidences of strokes have been surged for up to 50 per cent between 1999 and 2016. Although statistics are less when compared to the stroke data of US, Australia and Europe.

But the rate of risk is appalling. In India, states most vulnerable to strokes are West Bengal, Odisha, and Northeast.

Rural areas record slightly higher risks and cases. This is due to pitiable health care facilities, smoking, and poverty.

Our pathetic lifestyles, pollution, chronic illnesses, stressful environments lay us bare to unexpected attacks of strokes or other terminal health conditions.

What is Stroke?

Stroke is a medical condition which occurs in the brain. It happens when blood flow in our brain becomes abnormal.

Flow of blood is impeded by two possibilities, either by a clot in the blood vessel or rupture of an artery.

When blood flow is blocked into the organ, nervous tissues start dying. Since blood is responsible for the availability of oxygen and glucose to the cells in the body.

Due to jamming of the blood vessels, cells do not receive enough oxygen and energy to function properly.

Hence, they start to perish and impact the brain fatally, thus causing strokes.

If a person is attended to, with a timely treatment, either medications or surgery can be rescued successfully.

Otherwise, lack of hospitalization may lead to serious consequences such as paralysis, deformities, and most likely death.

What are the causes of a stroke?

In the majority of illnesses prevalent across the globe the leading culprit is our terrible lifestyle.

Despite being aware sometimes we overlook our health needs. And thus, we rightly suffer the repercussions both mentally and physically.

However, the genesis of the stroke can be traced to some other causes apart from lifestyle.

Major causes of strokes are as follows:

High Cholesterol

Extreme levels of cholesterol aids plaque formation in arteries. This may lead to restrictive flow of blood in the brain. Thus, it can cause strokes.

Smoking

Smoking depresses the levels of oxygen in our blood

Any disorderly activity in the heart menaces the brain and may lead to stroke.

Excessive alcohol & drug intake

It bothers our circulatory system which may result in blocked blood flow in the brain.

Interestingly, alcohol and drug double the risk of getting stroke.

Obesity

Obesity is marked by overweight ness. Surplus fat in our body constricts the blood vessels.

So, blood may not flow normally to the brain and strokes can occur.

Heredity

People who have a family history of high blood pressure, heart attacks or strokes are most likely to suffer the problem.

A Genetic disorder called CADA SIL accounts for mutation in genes responsible for normal blood flow.

This results in damage to blood vessels in the brain and ultimately stroke.

Heart diseases

Heart diseases such as atherosclerosis, heart attacks in the past, pulmonary artery disease augments the possibility to suffer stroke.
Age factor

Old age puts an individual more into risk of getting strokes. Mostly people above 65 are likely to face strokes.

However, lifestyle issues are diffusing these lines of demarcation in the modern world.

Also Read – Drug abuse & addiction: Effects on brain, risk factors & signs

What are the types of strokes?

Depending upon the type of defect that caused abnormal blood flow in the brain, strokes are categorized as:

  • Ischaemic stroke
  • Haemorrhagic stroke
Ischaemic Stroke

When the artery in the brain narrows or gets clogged by thrombus, flow of blood gets interrupted.

Blockage in artery can also be due to embolus.

Embolus is a clot in blood vessels which forms somewhere else in body and travels to the brain.

This leads to unavailability of oxygen and energy to the cells. Thus, obstruction in the artery in the brain results in ischemic stroke.

Haemorrhagic Stroke

This type of stroke occurs due to sudden rupture of the blood vessel in the brain. Blood from the artery escapes directly into the surrounding tissue.

The intended cells get deprived of oxygen and strokes occur.

However, if blood leaks into the tight space between the skull and the brain increases pressure and results in subarachnoid haemorrhage stroke.

What is the treatment of Strokes?

Well- timed action and hospitalization of the patient may give propitious outcomes. It may minimize brain cell injury.

However, treatment for both ischaemic and haemorrhagic strokes differ.

A person should be immediately taken to the hospitals if these signs occur:

Slurred speech or inability to understand simple commands

Not able to raise arms

Drooping of face muscles

Sudden and severe headache

Vomiting, dizziness and reduced consciousness

A.   Treatment of Ischaemic stroke

Medications are employed at first to dissolve the clot formed in brain vessel.

Drugs used to remove clot and restore blood flow are Aspirin and TPAs [tissue plasminogen activator].

If necessary, treatment may involve a minor surgical operation as well.

Carotid endarterectomy is a medical surgery which involves removing clot from the artery by making an incision in the vessel.

It eliminates further dangers of getting strokes.

B.  Treatment of haemorrhagic stroke

Haemorrhagic strokes are more severe types of strokes. Thus, they are usually cured by carrying out surgeries.

Treatment of these strokes aims to curb bleeding, reduce blood, pressure, prevent vasospasms and seizures.

Specialized neurosurgeons perform these operations. Some medications are also used in combination to surgery.

BOTTOM LINE

Stroke is a medical condition that occurs in brain. It happens due to abnormal blood flow in the arteries.

Blood vessels get blocked by clot or burst suddenly.

This results in ischaemic strokes and haemorrhages respectively. Undisciplined lifestyle and other factors increase risk of strokes.

The condition is attended with medications and surgery if needed.

 

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