Brain Stroke-Myths and Realities

 Another silent killer disease under the banner of NCDs’,Brain stroke or Cerebral stroke or Brain attack- A disease spreading worldwide,costing millions of dollars to federal and other health systems across the  globe.Gone are the days when Brain Stroke was an earache of elderly or patients suffering from diabetes,hypertension and heart disease.These days people in their 30’s, even in their early 30s, or 40s are being increasingly hospitalized with sign and symptoms of impending cerebral stroke or Brain stroke or have already suffered one.There is gross ignorance regarding brain stroke and people are unable to evaluate signs and symptoms leading to delayed medical intervention.Every 45 seconds someone suffers Stroke in USA. A Stroke is acute medical emergency as brain cells start dying fast and they do not regenerate easily.Speedy treatment is the key as 50-60% cases who suffer stroke for the first time have no symptoms,serious attention should be given to Brain Stroke as is given to heart attack.Initiating quick action can improve the odds of survival and better rehabilitation.
  Few signs and symptoms of Brain Stroke:-

  •  Stroke has a sudden onset and best outcome is achieved by immediate and careful response to warning signs-
    • Sudden onset of weakness/numbness of the face,upper or lower limb on one side of the body.
    • Sudden facial deviation towards any side.
    • Sudden difficulty in communicating skills i.e,unable to speak properly or unable to understand .
    • Sudden severe headache without any reason.
    • Sudden vision related problems.
    • Sudden loss of balance and coordination,dizziness and difficulty in walking or even standing.
    • Brief unconsciousness or sudden drowsiness.
    • Nausea/vomiting.

Learn The Formulae of F.A.S.T.

  • FACE:-Face drooped to one side?? Ask the person to smile.
  • ARMS:-Weakness in any of the arms??,ask the patient to raise both arms –does one of them drift downwards.
  • SPEECH:-Slurred or in coherent speech?? Ask the patient to repeat simple sentence.Is the sentence repeated correctly?
  • TIME:-Any of these symptoms call for immediate medical intervention/rush to hospital.
  • FAST-Courtesy National Stroke Association.
  • Risk factors:-

    • Heart disease.
    • Uncontrolled Diabetes.
    • Uncontrolled blood pressure
    • Smoking.
    • Alcohol.
    • High cholesterol levels.
    • Obesity.
    • Transient Ischemic attacks(TIAs).
    • List is not exhaustive.

    Permanent/Temporary problems after attack.

    • Partial or complete impairment or weakness on one side of the body.
    • Balance and coordination.
    • Speech and Memory.
    • Body ache.
    • Numbness.
    • Swallowing.
    • Fatigue factor.
    • Emotional setback.
    • Vision.

    Types Of Stroke.

    • Brain Attack-One or more arteries supplying blood to different parts of brain are either partially or completely blocked. Also termed as Ischemic Stroke,approx.32000 brain cells die/second die in a acute ischemic stroke. 
    • Heamorrhagic Stroke-Due to rupture of Brain Artery.

    Myths and Realities.

    • Recovery limited to initial few months or so.
        • Duration depends upon severity of injury and area of Brain involved.
        • Neurological investigation abnormalities though settle down in about a year’s time but that does not mean that recovery is all done.
        • It is actually a life long process involving Doctors,Physiotherapists and full family support which plays main and important role.
        • Almost never does a patient recovers fully, the residual deficits are usually significant and permanent.The continual expectation of recovery can lead clients and families into denial, frustration, disappointment. Moreover, the successful rehabilitation of the Brain stroke person cannot take place until they and their family are aware of the new limitations, accept them, and formulate new goals based on changed expectations.
        • Hope and patience are the key words.
    • Brain can not repair itself.
        • For years Neurologists,scientists used to think on these lines ,but latest researches have proved this theory a Myth.
        • Brain realign itself-grow axons to develop new pathways’ so that the functional loss due to area involved could be minimised.
        • Brain has the unique ability to recover after brain stroke/head injury.
        • Brain weighs only 1% of body but consumes 10% of energy generated by our body.
    • We use only 10%of Brain,if Stroke is in unused area no need to worry.
        • Have you ever heard Doctor saying although he has Brain Stroke/Head Injury it wasn’t in the area being used.??
        • Brain uses every bit and corner of its parts,Brain mapping ,EEG and other test have proved this.
        • 10% idea was coined by Einstein people took it in the wrong manner.He meant that human use only 10% of Brain’s ability.
        • It’s like remaining 90% brain’s potential is unused, should not be taken literally .
    • Behavioural Changes are signs of madness.
        • Stroke mainly affects the emotions,it causes poor control of emotions and an improper or apposite reaction may be noticed at inappropriate times.
        • This is actually a neurological disorder that causes such behavioural disorders like sudden episodes of crying,laughing,etc.also known as Emotional liability.With proper therapy and care such disorders are minimized.
    • There are limited and unreliable test to deduct Stroke.
        • A complete myth,Computer Tomography (CT)Scan and Magnetic Resonance Imaging(MRI) have completely revolutionised the management,treatment and better understanding of Strokes.
        • EEG.
        • Doppler Ultrasound.
    • Treatment is often very limited.
        • Stroke treatment works on the theory ‘the sooner the better’.
        • Neurologist have developed expertise to treat even the toughest cases through conservatives therapies but very often neuro surgeries play a vital and life saving role.

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