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What is stroke and how one prevents it ?

What is stroke and how one prevents it ?
Mon, 6 May 2013
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Neurologist 's  Response
Hi ,
stroke or "brain attack" occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery (a blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the body) or a blood vessel (a tube through which the blood moves through the body) breaks, interrupting blood flow to an area of the brain. When either of these things happen, brain cells begin to die and brain damage occurs.
When brain cells die during a stroke, abilities controlled by that area of the brain are lost. These abilities include speech, movement and memory. How a stroke patient is affected depends on where the stroke occurs in the brain and how much the brain is damaged.

Up to 80% of strokes are preventable; you can prevent a stroke!

1)High blood pressure is a major stroke risk factor if left untreated. Have blood pressure checked yearly by a doctor or at health fairs, a local pharmacy or supermarket or with an automatic blood pressure machine
2)Smoking doubles the risk of stroke. It damages blood vessel walls, speeds up artery clogging, raises blood pressure and makes the heart work harder.Stop smoking
3)Alcohol use has been linked to stroke in many studies. Most doctors recommend not drinking or drinking only in moderation - no more than two drinks each day
4)Cholesterol is a fatty substance in blood that is made by the body. It also comes in food. High cholesterol levels can clog arteries and cause a stroke. See a doctor if your total cholesterol level is more than 200 so check your cholesterol .
5)Control diabetes
6)Excess weight strains the circulatory system. Exercise five times a week. Maintain a diet low in calories, salt, saturated and trans fats and cholesterol. Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables daily.

Regards
Dr Sandhya Manorenj
Neurophysician
Hyderabad
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  User's Response
A stroke, also known as cerebrovascular accident (CVA), is an acute brain injury whereby the blood supply to a part of the brain is interrupted or there is bleeding within the brain. The part of the brain with disturbed blood supply can no longer receive adequate oxygen carried by the blood; brain cells are therefore damaged or die, impairing function from that part of the brain. Stroke is a medical emergency and can cause permanent neurologic damage or even death if not promptly diagnosed and treated. It is the third leading cause of death and adult disability in the US and industrialized European nations. On average, a stroke occurs every 45 seconds and someone dies every 3 minutes. Of every 5 deaths from stroke, 2 occur in men and 3 in women. RISK FACTORS include: advanced age, hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes mellitus, high cholesterol, and cigarette smoking. Cigarette smoking is the most important modifiable risk factor of stroke. The term "brain attack" is starting to come into use in the United States for stroke, just as the term "heart attack" is used for myocardial infarction, where a cutoff of blood causes necrosis to the tissue of the heart. Many hospitals have "brain attack" teams within their neurology departments specifically for swift treatment of stroke. Strokes can be classified into two major categories: ischemic (blood supply interrupted) and hemorrhagic (bleeding within the brain). About 80% of strokes are due to ischemia. It is important to identify a stroke as early as possible because patients who are treated earlier are more likely to survive and have better recoveries. The most important risk factors for stroke are hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, and cigarette smoking. Other risks include heavy alcohol consumption, high blood cholesterol levels, illicit drug use, and genetic or congenital conditions. Family members may have a genetic tendency for stroke or share a lifestyle that contributes to stroke. Having had a stroke in the past greatly increases one's risk of future strokes. Treating hypertension, diabetes mellitus, smoking cessation, control of hypercholesterolemia, physical exercise, and avoidance of illicit drugs and excessive alcohol consumption are all recommended ways of reducing the risk of stroke.
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