A stroke occurs when the supply of blood to a part of the brain is interrupted or reduced. It hampers the supply of essential nutrients and oxygen that brain cells require resulting in brain stroke. It is a medical emergency where the patient needs immediate medical care.
Through detailed assessment of the patient’s condition and individual recovery needs, therapists can design tailored services to improve an individual’s quality of life post-stroke.
Why is it necessary to Understand the Risk Factors?
Being aware of stroke risk factors is essential to any preventive action. Knowing the signs and symptoms can help someone identify when they may be at higher-than-average risk for a stroke. It’s also important to understand that there are different types of strokes, each with its risks and causes. The most common type is an ischemic stroke, but bleeding into or around the brain (hemorrhagic stroke) can also occur.
- Gender: Studies indicate that every third leading cause of death in females is stroke. 55,000 more female deaths were registered than males due to stroke.
- Age: The risk of stroke doubles with every decade after 50 – meaning those over 55 are four times as likely to face heart strokes as their younger peers.
- Risk Behavior: Risk behaviour includes smoking, high blood pressure, alcohol use, poor diet and physical inactivity, which increase your chance of having another heart event.
- Disease: These include carotid artery disease, fatty deposits in the arteries (atherosclerosis), heart rhythm abnormalities (atrial fibrillation or AFib), heart valve problems or mini-stroke and polycythemia vera.
- Genetics: Studies suggest that there are 28 genes located in and around the human genome have been linked to stroke, and this number seems likely to continue increasing as more research is done on the genetic aspects of stroke risks.
- Lifestyle Factors: These include smoking, physical inactivity and unhealthy diet choices such as eating too much processed food or saturated fat, being overweight or obese, excessive alcohol consumption and unmonitored high blood pressure.
- Occupational Hazards: People working in factories and industrial plants are exposed to high dust levels or hazardous chemicals, which can increase their risk for stroke.
Two Types of Heart Strokes
This heart stroke is a severe medical condition and can have grave consequences on the person’s health. It occurs when one of the coronary arteries that provide oxygen-rich blood to the heart is blocked or narrowed due to an accumulation of fat, cholesterol plaque, fibrous tissue, or clots.
Causes of Ischemic heart stroke
These are mainly related to a lack of oxygen reaching the heart. This could be caused by blood clots, which block off important arteries and prevent much-needed blood from getting past them.
- High cholesterol levels
- Smoking habits
Treatment of Ischemic heart stroke
Common treatments include medications such as anticoagulants to break up clots or prevent them from forming and antiplatelet drugs that make it harder for blood cells to collect in an arterial blockage.
- Exercise modifications
- Quitting smoking
- Reducing stress levels
- Restore blood flow
Hemorrhagic is a serious medical condition requiring immediate medical attention. It occurs when an artery inside the brain becomes blocked or ruptured, leading to bleeding within and around the brain, ranging from mild to severe.
Causes of Hemorrhagic heart stroke
Trauma is often caused by a severe head injury that directly damages any major artery supplying blood to the brain.
- High blood pressure
- Trauma to the head and neck
- Vascular malformations
Treatment of Hemorrhagic heart stroke
Prevention involves lifestyle modifications like
- Diet control
- Cessation of smoking and alcohol intake
- Proper blood pressure monitoring
- Anticoagulants reduce clot formation in the arteries
What is the Impact of Thrombolytic Therapy and Rehabilitation?
Thrombolytic therapy and rehabilitation are important aspects of stroke treatment. Thrombolytic therapy involves injecting clot-busting agents into a blocked artery to dissolve the clot, allowing for improved blood flow to brain areas affected by a stroke.
Rehabilitation is essential to recovery because it helps patients relearn lost skills and improve their physical mobility, communication ability, and coordination.
Types of Thrombolytic Therapy
Thrombolytic therapy is a medical treatment that uses drugs to break down and dissolve blood clots. It can treat many types of cardiovascular conditions, such as heart attack and stroke, as well as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). The most common types of thrombolytic agents are tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) and streptokinase.
tPA works by binding to the fibrin in the clot and breaking it down into smaller pieces so they can be reabsorbed into the bloodstream. Streptokinase works similarly but activates other clot-dissolving proteins in the body, such as urokinase, which help disperse the clot faster. Both drugs have been approved for use by healthcare professionals since 1987.
In addition to these two main medications, several newer agents are available today, including alteplase, tenecteplase and reteplase. These newer treatments may offer better outcomes than traditional therapies due to their increased potency and shorter time frames for action.
Benefits of Thrombolysis
Thrombolysis is a medical treatment that involves using medications to dissolve or lyse blood clots. It can be used for emergency and non-emergency situations when restoring normal blood flow is needed. The benefits of thrombolysis are numerous.
In emergencies, it can save lives by restoring circulation and preventing further damage from a stroke or heart attack. In non-emergency cases, it can help reduce symptoms associated with deep vein thrombosis (DVT), such as pain and swelling in the leg or arm where the clot has formed.
This treatment may also prevent post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS), a condition characterised by chronic swelling and skin discolouration at the clotting site due to reduced venous return caused by long-standing obstructive lesions in veins. Finally, thrombolytic therapy has been shown to improve a patient’s overall quality of life owing to the improved mobility and decreased risk factors for other complications related to DVT, such as pulmonary embolism (PE).
When to consult a Doctor
You can also get in touch with the expert Neurology doctors at Narayana Healthcare based in your city to get immediate attention and medical support during a sudden health concern.
- Best Neurologist in Delhi
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Thrombolytic therapy can dramatically impact stroke patients’ recovery when used correctly and promptly. While long-term rehabilitation is still essential to ensure a complete recovery from stroke, thrombolysis can reduce brain damage by restoring blood flow quickly and efficiently.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is thrombolytic therapy for stroke?
A. Thrombolytic therapy, also known as “clot-busting” therapy, is the administration of a pharmacological agent to break down a blood clot that has caused an ischemic stroke. This can restore flow to arteries blocked by the clot and reduce the effects of a stroke. It is administered through an injection into an artery in the arm or leg and should be done immediately after stroke onset for optimal effect.
Q. How do you rehabilitate after a stroke?
A. Rehabilitation is one of the most important steps in recovery after a stroke. A well-structured rehabilitation program enables you to regain physical, cognitive and emotional skills that may have been affected by the stroke.
Q. When do you give thrombolytics to stroke patients?
A. Thrombolytic therapy is a treatment for stroke that can dissolve clots that cause a stroke. It is usually given within 4.5 hours of the onset of symptoms, but this time frame can vary depending on individual circumstances.
Q. What is the role of rehabilitation in stroke?
A. Rehabilitation plays a crucial role in stroke recovery. It is a process of helping the person regain as much functioning and independence as possible and includes both physical and psychological therapies.
Q. What type of rehabilitation is used for strokes?
A. Rehabilitation following a stroke is tailored to an individual’s needs and can involve many therapies. These therapies may include physical, occupational, speech and language, cognitive, emotional, and nutritional therapy.