Stroke is a serious condition that occurs when blood flow to the brain stops. Stopping blood flow in the brain for a short time causes serious problems. Because when there is no blood or oxygen, brain cells begin to die within a few minutes and there is a loss of function in the brain. Therefore, stroke is a serious condition to be considered and can happen to anyone at any time. In order to raise awareness about this situation, May 10 was declared as World Stroke Prevention Day. We have compiled for you the answers and what you need to know about this brain crisis.
“What does stroke mean? What is a stroke?” are among the topics that researchers wonder about the disorder. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures and bleeds, or when there is a blockage in the blood flow to the brain.
The brain plays an active role in many functions ranging from controlling movements to being the source of emotions and thoughts, from breathing to controlling the digestive function of the body. In order for the brain to perform all these functions, it is important that it receives enough oxygen. The blood flow in the brain is necessary for oxygen supply. In case of disruption of blood flow, brain cells begin to die within minutes, resulting in a stroke.
Having a stroke can happen at any age. The risk of having a stroke increases, especially if certain risk factors are present. Some of these risk factors can be changed and managed, but some cannot. Modifiable and medically manageable risk factors include:
The non-modifiable risk factors for stroke are:
Types of stroke can be divided as ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke. Ischemic stroke: 85% of all strokes are seen as ischemic stroke. This stroke occurs when the arteries become clogged with a blood clot or fatty deposit. Hemorrhagic stroke: Occurs when blood leaks into the brain from a blood vessel. Its incidence is low, but this type of stroke can cause death.
It is a situation that should be considered as soon as the symptoms of stroke begin. The symptoms of a stroke are as follows:
In order to understand whether what is happening are signs of temporary paralysis or nervous paralysis, you should observe the person closely and seek emergency medical attention as soon as you see the symptoms.
“What causes a stroke?” If you are wondering, you should know that many factors are contributive in experiencing this situation. Conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and heart rhythm disorders are medical risk factors. Being overweight, smoking, sedentary lifestyle and wrong eating habits are lifestyle risk factors. Age, heredity and gender are among the causes that cannot be modified.
Some tests are applied to understand what kind of stroke the person has had. These tests are; blood tests, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), carotid ultrasound, cerebral angiogram and echocardiogram.
Stroke treatment varies depending on the stroke the person is experiencing. However, in general, treatment methods can be applied as follows:
Emergency drug therapy: Drug therapy is given to break up the clot that has formed. However, drugs should be given within 4-5 hours of the onset of symptoms.
Emergency endovascular intervention: In some cases, doctors can treat an ischemic stroke directly within the clogged blood vessel.
Medications given directly to the brain: A thin and long tube is inserted through an artery in the patient's groin, and the medication is administered by advancing it towards the site where the stroke occurred.
Removal of the clot with a stent collector: Doctors use a device attached to the catheter to remove the clot from the blocked blood vessel in the brain.
Stroke surgery: If the bleeding area is large in the patient, surgery is performed to drain blood and reduce the pressure in the brain. After this emergency procedure, the patient is closely monitored for at least 1 day.
Paralysis symptoms and first aid are a process that must be managed well. For this reason, when you observe stroke symptoms in a loved one, you should seek medical help immediately instead of waiting for the symptoms to subside. You should not give medicine to the patient without medical help and doctor's opinion. You should go to the hospital straight away. Centers such as health centers and polyclinics may be insufficient in the diagnosis and treatment of this condition. There is a risk of a new stroke after the situation has passed, so emergency medical help should be sought and treatment should be started within the first 6 hours.
Stroke is a recurrent condition. For this reason, the necessary treatment process should be started within 6 hours from the time the symptoms are observed. After the stroke, further examinations requested by the doctor should also be performed. These examinations are necessary to determine the cause of stroke and to plan the right treatment. In case of stroke due to atherosclerosis, treatment is applied to open the stenosis in the vessel and for this purpose, vasodilator is applied to the patient. If the person's atherosclerosis and stenosis are severe, surgery can be performed or the stenosis is treated by placing a stent. If there is a clot originating from the heart, preventive treatment with appropriate blood thinners is applied.
“What is the treatment for stroke?” It is also among those that are wondered whether it is possible to prevent stroke. Knowing the risk factors that cause stroke, following the doctor's recommendations, and adopting a healthy lifestyle are necessary for the prevention of stroke. In this respect; If you have high blood pressure, you should get your blood pressure under control to reduce the risk of stroke. For this, you can consult a specialist doctor. In addition, you should reduce the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol in your diet. Instead, you can prevent the accumulation in the arteries by consuming healthy fats. If you smoke, you should quit. Diabetes management is also a step that needs to be taken in this process. Therefore, it is necessary to lose excess weight with diet and exercise. In addition, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is among the measures that can be taken during this period. A regular exercise routine rather than a sedentary lifestyle reduces the risk of stroke in many ways. With exercise, blood pressure can be lowered, blood vessels and heart health can be improved.
The success of stroke treatment depends on the severity of the stroke and the area it affects. A rapid recovery is seen in mild paralysis, and this recovery is usually within 3-6 months.
Stroke, which occurs as a result of a clot in the brain, may improve. The body functions that are lost in the patient with the stroke may also be recovered over time. However, recovery is different for each patient.