A stroke is sometimes called a "brain attack." A stroke can injure the brain like a heart attack can injure the heart. Stroke is the result of cerebrovascular disease - disease of the blood vessels in the brain.
Stroke is the nation's third leading cause of death. Stroke is a type of cardiovascular disease. Itaffects the arteries leading to and within the brain. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts. When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood (and oxygen) it needs, so it starts to die.Source: http://www.strokeassociation.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=3030387
- About 700,000 Americans each year suffer a new or recurrent stroke. That means, on average, a stroke occurs every 45 seconds.
- Stroke kills nearly 157,000 people a year. That's about 1 of every 15 deaths. It's the No. 3 cause of deathbehind diseases of the heart and cancer.
- About every 3 minutes someone dies of stroke.
- Of every 5 deaths from stroke, 2occur inmen and 3in women.
- The 2003 stroke death rates per 100,000 population for specific groups were51.9 for white males,50.5 for white females,78.8 for black males and69.1 for black females.
- Americans will pay about $57.9 billion in 2006 for stroke-related medical costs and disability.
There are two types of stroke: Ischemic stroke - the most common type of stroke (88% of all strokes). This type of stroke happens when there is a sudden lack of blood flow to some part of the brain, usually due to a blood clot blocking an artery or blood vessel. Often the artery is already clogged with fatty deposits (atherosclerosis). Hemorrhagic stroke – (12% of all strokes) are caused by bleeding in the brain from a broken or leaking blood vessel. A hemorrhagic stroke may be due to an aneurysm—a thin or weak spot in an artery that balloons out and can burst. Either type of stroke can cause brain cells to die. This brain damage may cause a person to lose control of certain functions, such as speech, movement, and memory. Like a heart attack, a stroke is an emergency and should be treated as quickly as possible. Source: http://www.4woman.gov/faq/stroke.htmSource: http://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/short/113/6/e85
A "mini-stroke" refers to a transient ischemic attack (TIA). In a TIA, there is a short-term reduction in blood flow to the brain. This causes temporary stroke symptoms (often just for a few minutes) such as weakness or tingling in an arm or leg. TIAs don't cause brain damage, but they are important warning signs that a person is at risk of having a stroke. If you have a TIA, you should seek medical care right away to prevent a full stroke. Source: http://www.4woman.gov/faq/stroke.htm
Know that not everyone gets all of the following warning signs of stroke. And, sometimes these signs can go away and return. Treatments are most effective if given within one hour of when the attack begins. If you have any of these symptoms, call 911 right away!
- Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body.
- Sudden confusion or trouble speaking or understanding speech.
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination.
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause.
- Blurred or double vision, drowsiness, and nausea or vomiting.
Stroke risks are higher in people who have a family or personal history of stroke and for African Americans. African American women have a higher risk of disability and death from stroke than Caucasian women do. This is partly because more African American women have high blood pressure, a major stroke risk factor. Age is also a factor: the chance of having a stroke more than doubles for each decade of life after age 55. Women who smoke or who have high blood pressure, heart disease, or diabetes are at greater risk of having a stroke. Hormonal changes with pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause are also linked to an increased risk of stroke. Source: http://www.4woman.gov/faq/stroke.htm
The brain is an extremely complex organ that controls various body functions. If a stroke occurs and blood flow can't reach the region that controls a particular body function, that part of the body won't work as it should.If the stroke occurs toward the back of the brain, for instance, it's likely that some disability involving vision will result. The effects of a stroke depend primarily on the location of the obstruction and the extent of brain tissue affected.
The effects of a stroke depend on severalfactors including the location of the obstruction and how much brain tissue is affected. However, because one side of the brain controls the opposite side of the body, a stroke affecting one side will result in neurological complications on the side of the body if affects. For example, if the stroke occurs in the brain's right side, the left side of the body will be affected, which could produce any or all of the following:
- Paralysis on the left side of the body
- Vision problems
- Quick, inquisitive behavioral style
- Memory loss
- Left Brain
If the stroke occurs in the left side of the brain, the right side of the body will be affected, producing some or all of the following:
- Paralysis on the right side of the body
- Speech/language problems
- Slow, cautious behavioral style
- Memory loss
The more stroke risk factors you have, the greater the chance that you will have a stroke. You can't control some risk factors, such as aging, family health history, race and gender. But you can change or treat most other risk factors to lower your risk. Here are some of the best ways to prevent stroke:
- Eat a healthy diet low in saturated fat and rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Don't overeat, and keep your weight under control.
- Get regular exercise (30 minutes a day, most days of the week, or more).
- Find ways to manage stress in your life.
- If you have high blood pressure, take your blood pressure medicine as prescribed by your health care provider.
- If your cholesterol level is too high, talk to your health care provider about ways to lower it.
- If you smoke, stop smoking. If it is hard to quit on your own, there are products like nicotine patches, support groups, and programs to help you stop smoking.
- If you have heart disease or diabetes, take good care of yourself. See your health care provider and take your medicine as prescribed.
- Get help if you have a TIA ("mini-stroke"). Talk to your health care provider to see if you need medicine or surgery.
- Aspirin therapy may be useful, but check with your health care provider before starting to take aspirin on a daily basis.
- 14% of persons who survive a first stroke or TIA will have another one within 1 year.
- 22% of men and 25% of women who have an initial stroke die within a year. This percentage is higher among people age 65 and older.
- 51% of men and 53% of women under age 65 who have a stroke die within 8 years.
- The length of time to recover from a stroke depends on its severity. From 50–70% of stroke survivors regain functional independence, but 15–30% are permanently disabled, and 20% require institutional care at 3 months after onset.
In the NHLBI’s
- 50% had some hemiparesis.
- 30% were unable to walk without some assistance.
- 26% were dependent in activities of daily living.
- 19% had aphasia.
- 35% had depressive symptoms.
- 26% were institutionalized in a nursing home.