A stroke, also known as a brain attack, occurs when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted due to the blockage or rapture in arteries or blood vessels which prevent the brain tissue from getting oxygen and nutrients, leading to brain cell death in a matter of minutes.
Without prompt treatment or early action, it may lead to brain damage, disabilities and other fatal complications. Depending upon the cause and site of the stroke along with the degree of damage that occurs within the brain, stroke is largely categorised into 2 types. This will also determine the variations in impairment experienced by the stroke patient in movement, memory, speech and thought process as well as paralysis and death in severe cases.
Types & causes
There are 2 types of stroke, based on the cause:
Ischemic stroke: Known to be the most common, this type of stroke occurs when the arteries in the brain are blocked or narrowed, leading to a severely reduced blood flow (ischema). This blockage is caused due to the build-up of fatty deposits and plaque or by blood clots or any other debris in the bloodstream.
Much like ischemic stroke is a transient ischemic attack, commonly known as ministroke, which is caused by a temporary decrease in the blood supply in a part of your brain or the nervous system that does not cause permanent damage but increases your risk of having a full-blown stroke later.
Hemorrhagic stroke: Comparatively lesser common, this type of stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain leaks or ruptures. The causes of this may include uncontrolled high blood pressure, overuse of blood thinners and protein deposits in the blood vessel walls that weaken and cause it to rupture (cerebral amyloid angiopathy), blood vessel bursts due to trauma, aneurysms wherein bulges at weak spots in the blood vessel walls cause its leakage or even ischemic stroke leading to hemorrhage.
Signs & symptoms
The major symptoms of stroke include sudden numbness, drooping or weakness of one side of the face, arm or impairment in speech. Besides some of the common signs listed below, our experts’ advice on the quickest way to identify a stroke is to recognise the symptom
F– Face drooping: Check if the smile on your face is even on both sides or one side of the face droops.
A- Arm Weakness: Check if one arm uncontrollably drifts downward when you raise both hands together.
S– Speech Difficulty: Check if you slur your speech or are unable to speak fluently, comprehend or repeat simple sentences.
T– Time to call hospital: On recognising flaw in any of these, call an ambulance immediately.
Headache– A sudden, severe headache with impaired consciousness may signal stroke.
Trouble walking– Loss of balance and inability to walk normally due to loss of coordination or sudden dizziness.
Impaired sight- Problem seeing with one or both eyes
The risk factors for stroke are many, almost half of which can be controlled by lifestyle discipline.
We have listed here some of the most common ones for you-
– People aged 55 or older are at a higher risk
– Family history of stroke or transient ischemic attack
– Being overweight or obese
– Physical inactivity
– Excessive intake of alcohol and drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamine
– High blood pressure
– Smoking or second-hand smoke exposure
– High cholesterol
– Cardiovascular disease, including heart failure, heart defects, heart infection
– COVID-19 infection
– Men have a higher risk of stroke than women
– Uncontrolled use of estrogen
After our emergency team rules out other causes and determines the type of stroke you are having, our specialists will immediately run the following tests in order to give you the best and fastest treatment:
Physical exam: Checking of your heartbeat and blood pressure followed by a neurological exam to check how far your nervous system is affected.
Blood tests: To check your sugar level, how fast your blood clots, or for any infection.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): An imaging test that uses powerful radio-waves and magnets to create a detailed view of your brain to detect brain tissues damaged by an ischemic stroke and brain hemorrhage.
Computerized Tomography (CT) scan: This uses a series of X-rays to create a detailed image of your brain in order to detect bleeding in the brain or signs of ischemic stroke and tumour.
Carotid Ultrasound: Here, sound waves are used to create detailed images of the insides of the carotid arteries in your neck to check for build-up of blockage causing fatty deposits.
Cerebral angiogram: A thin, flexible tube (catheter) is inserted through a small incision, usually in your groin and through your major arteries. Your doctor will then inject a dye into your blood vessels to make the arteries visible under X-ray imaging.
Echocardiogram: Sound waves are used to create detailed images of your heart. This can be then used to detect any blood clot in the heart that may have travelled to your brain and caused your stroke.
Whom to consult?
Depending upon the type and amount of damage done to the brain, every person’s stroke recovery may be different. Our team at the Centre for Neurology & Neurosurgery at Yashoda Hospital & Research Centre, Nehru Nagar, Ghaziabad is here is give you the best personalised treatment for all complex cases related to stroke.
At Yashoda, we are equipped to provide you with excellent remediation facilities for any impairment and highly experienced staff to assist you towards efficient recovery and rehabilitation, regardless of your age or condition, at our Centre for Rehabilitation & Sports Medicine.
For any query on stroke and its treatment, please reach out to us on our official website
www.yashodahealthcare.com or book an appointment with our most experienced Neurologist
specialists Dr. Atul Gupta, Dr. Neeraj Agrawal, Dr. Puneet Malik, Dr. Rajesh Kumar and Dr.
Vimal Kumar Agarwal by calling us on 09810922042.