Is It Possible To Prevent A Stroke
Up to 50% of all strokes are preventable. Many risk factors can be controlled before they cause problems.
Controllable Risk Factors for Stroke:
Uncontrollable Risk Factors for Stroke:
- Family history of stroke
Your doctor can evaluate your risk for stroke and help you control your risk factors. Sometimes, people experience warning signs before a stroke occurs.
These are called transient ischemic attacks and are short, brief episodes of the stroke symptoms listed above. Some people have no symptoms warning them prior to a stroke or symptoms are so mild they are not noticeable. Regular check-ups are important in catching problems before they become serious. Report any symptoms or risk factors to your doctor.
What Happens During A Stroke
If something happens to block the flow of blood, brain cells start to die within minutes because they cant get oxygen. This causes a stroke.
There are two types of stroke:
- An ischemic stroke occurs when blood clots or other particles block the blood vessels to the brain. Fatty deposits called plaque can also cause blockages by building up in the blood vessels.
- A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel bursts in the brain. Blood builds up and damages surrounding brain tissue.
Both types of stroke damage brain cells. Symptoms of that damage start to show in the parts of the body controlled by those brain cells.
What Effects Can Be Seen With A Stroke In The Brainstem
The brainstem is located at the base of the brain right above the spinal cord. Many of the body’s vital “life-support” functions such as heartbeat, blood pressure, and breathing are controlled by the brainstem. It also helps control the main nerves involved with eye movement, hearing, speech, chewing, and swallowing. Some common effects of a stroke in the brainstem include problems with:
- Breathing and heart functions
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Effects Of A Right Hemisphere Stroke In The Cerebrum
The effects of a right hemisphere stroke may include:
- Left-sided weakness or paralysis and sensory impairment
- Denial of paralysis or impairment and reduced insight into the problems created by the stroke
- Visual problems, including an inability to see the left visual field of each eye
- Spatial problems with depth perception or directions, such as up or down and front or back
- Inability to localize or recognize body parts
- Inability to understand maps and find objects, such as clothing or toiletry items
- Memory problems
- Behavioral changes, such as lack of concern about situations, impulsivity, inappropriateness, and depression
Signs Of Stroke In Men And Women
- Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body.
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking, or difficulty understanding speech.
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance, or lack of coordination.
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause.
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Left Hemisphere Vs Right Hemisphere Stroke
Along with different lobes and structures, the brain is alsodivided into two halves, called hemispheres.
Aside from the different areas of the brain that can beaffected by stroke, its also helpful to look at difference between the twohemispheres.
Generally speaking, the left hemisphere controls languageand logical reasoning while the right hemisphere is believed to control creativityand object recognition. This is why language difficulties after stroke areoften associated with left hemispherestrokes.
Furthermore, each hemisphere controls movement on the opposite side of the body. Usually, a left hemisphere stroke will cause motor impairments on the right side of the body while a right hemisphere stroke will likely impair the left side of the body.
When stroke impacts both hemispheres, its possible tosustain motor impairments on both sides of the body.
Problems That Occur After A Stroke
There are many problems that may happen after a stroke. Most are common and will improve with time and rehabilitation.
Common physical conditions after a stroke include:
- Weakness, paralysis, and problems with balance or coordination.
- Pain, numbness, or burning and tingling sensations.
- Fatigue, which may continue after you return home.
- Inattention to one side of the body, also known as neglect in extreme cases, you may not be aware of your arm or leg.
- Urinary or bowel incontinence.
- Speech problems or difficulty understanding speech, reading, or writing.
- Difficulty swallowing.
- Memory problems, poor attention span, or difficulty solving problems.
- Visual problems.
- Depression, anxiety, or mood swings with emotional outbursts.
- Difficulty recognizing limitations caused by the stroke.
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Brain Stem Stroke Survivor Stories
Flint Rehab has had the pleasure of speaking with various brain stem stroke survivors to learn about their experiences, and wed like to share a couple of those stories with you.
First, wed like to share from Becky, who experienced a brain stem stroke at the end of November 2007.
Initially, she was paralyzed from the neck down and now she is able to move her body again. Not all patients can recover from locked-in syndrome like Becky, but she shows that recovery is possible. Check out her story in the video below:
Next we spoke with a stroke survivor named Luke, who experienced a brain stem stroke in July 2019. Heres what he said:
Luke intends to try again to return to college, and overall has made significant progress in just one year post-stroke.
We hope these recovery stories help shine some light on how other survivors were affected by a stroke in the brain stem, and how intensive rehabilitation helps with recovery.
Not all stroke survivors will experience these same results, but its important to try. Believing that recovery is possible will motivate you to take action, which is how results are made.
Emotional And Personality Changes After Stroke
If you have suffered a stroke, it is common to have changes in your mood and personality. Some emotional changes may be caused by damage to the brain from the stroke, but you can also experience a range of emotions, as well as depression, as a response to the change in your situation.Depression is common in the first year after a stroke, but it is particularly common in people who have trouble understanding, finding words and communicating after a stroke.The symptoms of depression include:
- feeling sad most of the time
- feeling tired
- losing a sense of pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
- losing interest in food or eating too much
- losing weight or gaining weight.
After a stroke, people can also have anxiety either on its own or with depression. Anxiety is more than just feeling stressed. People who are anxious can:
- find it difficult to calm down
- feel worried most of the time
- feel frightened by intense panic
- have recurring thoughts that increase their anxiety
- avoid situations that can cause them to be anxious.
Personality and behavioural changes are also common and can include:
- irritability reacting to things that would normally not annoy you
- aggressiveness physical or verbal
- apathy or lack of motivation
- repetitive behaviour becoming stuck in the repetition of words or behaviours
- disinhibition tendency to say and do things that are socially inappropriate
- impulsiveness can also include sudden and socially inappropriate actions.
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What Are The Treatments For Stroke
Treatments for stroke include medicines, surgery, and rehabilitation. Which treatments you get depend on the type of stroke and the stage of treatment. The different stages are:
- Acute treatment, to try to stop a stroke while it is happening
- Post-stroke rehabilitation, to overcome the disabilities caused by the stroke
- Prevention, to prevent a first stroke or, if you have already had one, prevent another stroke
Acute treatments for ischemic stroke are usually medicines:
- You may get tPA, , a medicine to dissolve the blood clot. You can only get this medicine within 4 hours of when your symptoms started. The sooner you can get it, the better your chance of recovery.
- If you cannot get that medicine, you may get medicine that helps stop platelets from clumping together to form blood clots. Or you may get a blood thinner to keep existing clots from getting bigger.
- If you have carotid artery disease, you may also need a procedure to open your blocked carotid artery
Acute treatments for hemorrhagic stroke focus on stopping the bleeding. The first step is to find the cause of bleeding in the brain. The next step is to control it:
Stroke rehabilitation can help you relearn skills you lost because of the damage. The goal is to help you become as independent as possible and to have the best possible quality of life.
What Are The Different Types And Causes Of Brain Stroke
Based on the causes, stroke is broadly classified into three types:
Ischaemic stroke: It is the most common type of stroke and is caused due to a blockade of a blood vessel. It can be further divided into:
- Thrombotic stroke: A blood clot or thrombus, formed due to fatty deposits or plaque or other artery conditions, blocks blood flow to the
- Embolic stroke: A blood clot or bubbles of gas formed in some other part of the body, travels to the brain.
- Transient ischaemic attack : In this relatively mild type of stroke, there is a temporary obstruction in blood flow to the brain.
Hemorrhagic stroke: It is caused due to leakage or a bursting of a blood vessel in the brain. Such situations may arise due to cerebrovascular diseases like aneurysm, high blood pressure or medications that weaken the walls of the blood vessel etc.
Types of Brain Stroke
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Potential Secondary Effects Of Brain Stem Stroke
The brain stem plays a major role in basic bodily functions, such as breathing, consciousness, and heart rate. Therefore, the secondary effects of a brain stem stroke can impact these functions, and others.
Here are some of the possible secondary effects of a stroke in the brain stem:
Next, lets look at the outlook for a brain stem stroke.
How Can Stroke Be Prevented
If you want to prevent a stroke, you must understand the risk factors that lead to stroke as well as the strategies that are used to reduce stroke. Make sure that you know the warning signs. If you see stroke warning signs, call 9-1-1! Most of the stroke warning signs are painless:
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, particularly on one side of the body.
- Sudden difficulty understanding or speaking. May have either slurred speech or confused speech.
- Sudden difficulty seeing in one eye or both eyes.
- Severe dizziness and/or sudden loss of balance, coordination, or ability to walk
- Sudden and severe headache for no reason
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 07/11/2018.
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Can You Live 20 Years After A Stroke
Study of long-term survival rates among the younger population A recent Dutch study focusing specifically on 18 to 50 year olds found that among those who survived past one month mark, the chances of death within twenty years were 27% for those suffered an ischemic stroke, with TIA sufferers coming in second at 25%, …
Treatment Of Cerebral Haemorrhage
After admission to hospital, treatment depends on the location and severity of the haemorrhage, but may include:
- medications to lower blood pressure after onset of haemorrhage
- treatment for underlying causes, such as long-term use of antihypertensive medications
- certain surgical procedures.
Any suspected signs and symptoms of cerebral haemorrhage require urgent medical attention. Dial triple zero to call an ambulance to take the person to the nearest hospital emergency department.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Stroke
The symptoms of stroke often happen quickly. They include:
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking, or understanding speech
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden difficulty walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause
If you think that you or someone else is having a stroke, call 911 right away.
What Are The Effects Of Stroke
The effects of stroke vary from person to person based on the type, severity, location, and number of strokes. The brain is very complex. Each area of the brain is responsible for a specific function or ability. When an area of the brain is damaged from a stroke, the loss of normal function of part of the body may occur. This may result in a disability.
The brain is divided into 3 main areas:
Depending on which of these regions of the brain the stroke occurs, the effects may be very different.
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Blood Supply Of The Brain
To understand stroke, it is helpful to know how blood circulates to the brain . Blood is pumped from the heart and carried to the brain by two paired arteries, the internal carotid arteries and the vertebral arteries . The internal carotid arteries supply the anterior areas and the vertebral arteries supply the posterior areas of the brain. After passing through the skull, the right and left vertebral arteries join together to form a single basilar artery. The basilar artery and the internal carotid arteries communicate with each other in a ring at the base of the brain called the Circle of Willis. The middle cerebral artery is the artery most often blocked during a stroke.
Everyday Life After Stroke
Having a stroke can mean changes to your everyday life. This includes changes in:
- living arrangements you may need to move to residential care or modify your home
- sexual function and relationships
- your ability to handle complex skills such as driving
- your ability to work if you were working before your stroke
- your level of independence you may need to rely on carers at home.
Stroke rehabilitation can help you to get the most out of your life after a stroke.
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What Treatments Are Available
Treatment for stroke depends on whether the patient is diagnosed with an ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke. In either case the person must get to a hospital immediately for the treatments to work.
Ischemic stroke treatments can be divided into emergency treatments to reverse a blockage and preventive treatments to prevent stroke.
Clot buster drugs Thrombolytic “clot-buster” drugs help restore blood flow by dissolving the clot that is blocking the artery. The most common “clot-buster” drug is tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA for short. TPA is an enzyme found naturally in the body that dissolves clots. Doctors inject extra tPA into the bloodstream to speed up this process. To be effective, tPA should be given as quickly as possible. Patients who received tPA within 3 to 4 hours of onset of stroke symptoms were at least 33% more likely to recover from their stroke with little or no disability after 3 months .
- A stent retriever is a wire mesh tube, like a stent, that is attached to a long wire. When the tube is opened in the blocked artery, the clot gets stuck in the mesh. The doctor then pulls out the mesh using the long wire, pulling out the clot with it.
- An aspiration catheter is like a vacuum cleaner that is attached to a special suction unit and used to suck out the clot.
Why Does A Stroke Affect Different Parts Of The Body
Nerve cells in the brain tissue communicate with other cells to control functions including memory, speech and movement. When a stroke occurs, nerve cells in the brain tissue become injured. As a result of this injury, nerve cells cannot communicate with other cells, and functions are impaired. If a stroke occurs on the right side of the brain, the left side of the body is affected, and vice versa.
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What Are The Effects Of A Stroke
The effects of a stroke vary, depending on the affected area of the brain.
Another factor is how long it took to receive treatment. Any delay allows more brain cells to die or be damaged.
Some people only experience minor effects after a stroke, such as fatigue or difficulty with coordination. Others may need to relearn basic functions, such as walking and swallowing, and they will need ongoing support.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , strokes are responsible for one in 20 deaths in the United States.
Tracy Lomagno had a stroke in the cerebellum area of the brain in February 2018. She kindly spoke to us about her experience with each of the symptoms below:
What Lasting Effects Can A Stroke Cause
The effects of a stroke depend on the extent and the location of damage in the brain. Among the many types of disabilities that can result from a stroke are:
- Inability to move part of the body .
- Weakness in part of the body.
- Numbness in part of the body.
- Inability to speak or understand words.
- Difficulty communicating.
- Memory loss, confusion or poor judgment.
- Change in personality emotional problems.
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Do You Know Your Stroke Risk
Some of the most important risk factors for stroke can be determined during a physical exam at your doctor’s office. If you are over 55 years old, the worksheet in this pamphlet can help you estimate your risk of stroke and show the benefit of risk factor control.
The worksheet was developed from NINDS-supported work in the well-known Framingham Study. Working with your doctor, you can develop a strategy to lower your risk to average or even below average for your age.
Many risk factors for stroke can be managed, some very successfully. Although risk is never zero at any age, by starting early and controlling your risk factors you can lower your risk of death or disability from stroke. With good control, the risk of stroke in most age groups can be kept below that for accidental injury or death.
Americans have shown that stroke is preventable and treatable. In recent years, a better understanding of the causes of stroke has helped Americans make lifestyle changes that have cut the stroke death rate nearly in half.
Scientists at the NINDS predict that, with continued attention to reducing the risks of stroke and by using currently available therapies and developing new ones, Americans should be able to prevent 80 percent of all strokes.