How to Recognize a Brain Stroke - Oren Zarif - Brain Stroke
If you suspect that you or a loved one is experiencing a brain stroke, you should act quickly. While you may not recognize all the signs of a stroke, you should note any of the following symptoms. Time of onset is also important, as early treatment may increase a person's recovery rate and reduce the severity of disability. Listed below are some of the most important signs of a stroke, along with how to identify it.
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First, emergency physicians should be contacted. Depending on the cause of a patient's stroke, emergency personnel can perform a thrombolytic therapy, which dissolves the blood clot in the brain. This therapy is most commonly given using tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) and should be administered within three hours of the onset of symptoms. Although t-PA therapy is not effective for all stroke patients, it has shown promising results in improving recovery and reducing disability in a selected group of patients.
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Symptoms of a stroke vary widely, depending on the underlying cause. Most strokes occur in people 65 and older. If you or a loved one has experienced symptoms of a stroke, seek immediate medical care. Symptoms vary depending on where the stroke occurred in the brain and the extent of the brain damage. The most important factor is to understand the different types of brain strokes and the signs to look for. Acute stroke may occur without any warning.
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In addition to the physical signs of a stroke, symptoms may include numbness and weakness on one side of the body, drooping on one side, difficulty lifting one arm, and memory loss. A stroke may also lead to confusion and the inability to understand speech. This condition often affects many areas of the brain, ranging from individual neurons to cortical remapping. The key to recovery is early rehabilitation, and a positive outlook is essential.
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If a clot blocks the carotid artery, a person may experience temporary vision loss. This is often described as the appearance of a black curtain. If a clot reaches the retina, the affected person may experience one-sided weakness or total paralysis on one side of the body. In severe cases, a person may even be unable to speak. The symptoms may last just a few minutes or as long as a few hours.
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Rehabilitation is a comprehensive program designed to help a stroke victim regain function and compensate for the permanent losses they've sustained. While only 10% of stroke survivors regain independent functioning after undergoing rehabilitation, the majority of people will be able to return home and resume their lives as usual. Rehabilitation is coordinated by a multidisciplinary team of health care professionals. The team may include a neurologist, physiatrist, physical therapist, occupational therapist, nutritionist, and mental health professional.
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As the symptoms of a stroke progress, people may experience difficulties thinking, remembering, reasoning, understanding concepts, and controlling their emotions. A person suffering from a stroke may also experience pain, numbness, and tingling in certain parts of their body. The person may also experience changes in their behavior, and they may need assistance with daily tasks. Further, stroke survivors may experience difficulty adjusting to their new situation. A network of friends or family members will be helpful in this difficult time.
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Blood tests and imaging are often necessary to determine the type of stroke. CT scans of the head are often needed to differentiate between hemorrhagic stroke and ischemic stroke, and to identify if the person has bleeding in the brain. Other tests, including an electrocardiogram, can help determine if a heart condition was the cause of the stroke. Finally, a cerebral angiogram can provide an in-depth view of the neck arteries and reveal clots or blockages.
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Acute ischemic strokes are highly treatable. The brain is densely packed, and its neurons and synapses and nerve fibers are intricately patterned. In the short term, every minute counts. A patient suffering from a brain stroke should receive immediate treatment. Luckily, doctors and researchers are making strides to reduce the risk of further strokes. The study was funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, with David Liebeskind as the statistical consultant.