Despite not showing any identifiable symptoms, a brain stroke can cause serious damage to the brain. While strokes are very common and fatal, public awareness about it is very low.
What is Stroke?
A stroke(also known as Brain Attack) occurs when vessels supplying blood to the brain are blocked, interrupting the blood flow. This results in the death of the brain cells.
What are the symptoms of Stroke?
To avoid a misdiagnosis, it is important to know about the symptoms too. The weakness of limbs, facial deviation, slurring of the speech or inability to speak, numbness of one side, incoordination of hand, and unsteady gait are some common symptoms to look out for.
How to prevent a Stroke?
- One must stop smoking. It leads to fatty deposit in the blood vessels, which slow down the blood flow.
- Control your Blood Pressure (BP). A consistent BP higher than 140 over 90 can cause damage.
- Control your Cholesterol levels. High levels of Cholesterol have been associated with Ischemic Stroke.
- Limit Saturated Fats and Trans-fats in your diet.
- One must moderate alcohol consumption.
- If you have diabetes, keep blood sugar under control as diabetes cause small vessels to close prematurely.
- There could be a genetic component too, so keep your family history in mind.
What is the importance of a timely diagnosis?
Timely investigation of Stroke is imperative. CT scan, MRI CT and Angiography of the brain are the common detection tools.
What are the treatment options?
Common treatment methods include Thrombolysis, Mechanical Thrombectomy, prescription of antiplatelet drugs, statins and hypertensive drugs along with physiotherapy & rehabilitation.
The author, Dr. Arun Kumar is a Senior Consultant – Neurology at Narayana Health, Jamshedpur.