Stroke disease affects an average of 128 per 1 lakh people every year and is one of the leading causes of death and disabilities in India. Around 10 to 15% of the people who experience different types of strokes in India are under the age of 40. Unless treated immediately, stroke can result in paralysis of the limbs, loss of speech, memory loss, etc, and in extreme cases lead to death.
What causes stroke disease and what are the types of strokes?
- Ischemic stroke disease constitutes 80% of the types of strokes and occurs due to blockage of an artery that supplies blood to the brain, due to atherosclerosis or the deposition of cholesterol in the arteries. Since the artery gets blocked the region of the brain that it usually supplies, gets cut off from its oxygen supply, causing the neurons and other brain cells to die. Usually, Ischaemic types of strokes are treated by injection of tPA or tissue plasminogen activator that dissolves the clot.
- Hemorrhagic stroke disease constitute 10% of the types of strokes and occurs when an artery that supplies the brain with blood ruptures and the blood starts accumulating, compressing, and adding pressure in that region of the brain, causing damage to the brain cells. Usually, this occurs as a result of high blood pressure or from head trauma in a situation such as an accident. Hemorrhagic types of strokes are treated by trying to reduce the amount of bleeding and relieving the pressure caused by the bleeding in the brain.
- The third type of stroke is called a Transient Ischemic attack, it is similar to ischemic stroke, but does not cause permanent damage.
What are the latest advances in stroke disease research?
Traditionally, unless any types of strokes were treated within 3 hours, it could lead to permanent damage. Current technologies have been able to reverse the permanent effects of stroke, even after 16 hours poststroke. Stroke survivors are at increased risk of memory loss, speech defects, motor, and cognitive decline.
Nearly 75% of strokes are associated with high blood pressure (hypertension). Some of the other risk factors include sedentary lifestyle, obesity, poor diet, and smoking. Smokers have up to four times increased risk of stroke. Recent research also shows evidence that people on birth control or receiving hormone replacement therapy have an overall 29 percent increased risk of stroke, in particular an ischemic stroke. If you have high blood pressure, or any of these risk factors, talk to your doctor about creating a plan to reduce your risk of stroke
The warning signs of a stroke can be remembered with the acronym BEFAST: Imbalance ,vision issues ,facial drooping, arm weakness, speech difficulty, time to call 911. Stroke may occur suddenly and the results can be devastating. It is critical to call 911 immediately, so blood flow can be restored to the brain as quickly as possible. Other symptoms of stroke that may occur include severe headache, confusion, dizziness, nausea, loss of balance, numbness, trouble speaking or walking, vision changes, and weakness.
An ischaemic stroke is treated by removing the blockage from the blood vessel and restoring blood flow. A drug called tissue plainsmen activator (tPA) has a high success rate if it is administered within a three-hour window from the onset of symptoms. There are other treatment option for eg, mechanical intervention/decomressive surgery is also there ,depending on the etiology/clinical status of stroke . . A hemorrhagic stroke usually requires conservative management or surgery to relieve pressure within the skull caused by bleeding
A recent study published in 2019 has shown that home-based motor telerehabilitation for stroke disease survivors, which included about 36 sessions of 70 minutes each, of motor therapy along with stroke education was as effective as in-person therapy in a clinic. In the current COVID-19 situation, the telerehabilitation of different types of stroke victims is a more favorable alternative.
The occurrence of different types of strokes such as Ischemic as well as hemorrhagic stroke are widely prevalent in the population. Current research has led to the increased efficacy of treatment of stroke disease victims. However, the key to recovery from any of the different types of strokes is acting fast treatment, and hence, the person suffering from stroke disease must be immediately rushed to the hospital.
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