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Stroke

The cause of this disease is the lack of oxygen and nutrition in the brain. Normal blood supply of the brain is blocked by a clot coming from the heart or due to aortic stenosis of neck or brain.

Stroke happens in the brain but effects the whole body. Due to the lack of oxygen, the functioning of certain parts of the brain and corresponding parts of the body stops.

Considering its development we can distinguish 2 types: ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke.

Ischemic stroke

The cause of ischemic stroke (stroke due to lack of oxygen) is an aortic obstruction. The clot can develop either in one of the arteries (thrombosis) or in another part of the body and gets to the cerebral area (embolic stroke) blocking a smaller blood vessel and causing stroke. In 80 % of the cases strokes are of this type. It is important to know that atrial fibrillation (you can learn more here) is the main cause for heart-related stroke which can be detected by devices.

Hemorrhagic stroke

 In this case the cerebral artery ruptures and bleeds, and the blood and oxygen cannot reach the tissues. Furthermore the blood can damage brain cells, resulting in increased pressure in the brain. The pressure that builds up in the brain can compress intact brain areas, or it may impede sufficient blood flow. Arteriosclerosis and high blood pressure are risk factors in the development of hemorrhagic stroke.

TIA (Transient ischemic attack)

Transient ischemic attack (TIA) is often labeled as “mini-stroke”, because it is a temporary disorder of cerebral circulation (due to a blockage), often prior to stroke. It is also caused by a clot; the only difference between a stroke and TIA is that with TIA the blockage is transient (temporary). This group of symptoms occur rapidly and last for a relatively short time. That is why it is often ignored, although it can be a signal to a more serious stroke. With proper treatment of the symptoms, the stroke can be prevented.

On a yearly basis, 15 Million people get struck by stroke in the world. Out of them 6 Million dies and another 5 Million becomes permanently disabled. Stroke is the second leading cause of death among people over 60 and the 5th one in case of people between 15-59 years.

We can’t change a part of the risk factors, such as age, gender and family case history. The prevalence of cerebrovascular diseases and the underlying heart disorders (infarct, arrhythmia, you can learn more about heart diseases here) increases with age. Men over 40 and women over 50 are subject to significant risk for developing the above-mentioned diseases.

The other part of risks depends on the individual, and therefore stroke can be avoided. These factors are high blood pressure, obesity, lipid metabolism disorders, smoking, etc. Amongst these high blood pressure carries the biggest threat.

When stroke occurs, each minute counts! If you experience signals of a possible cerebrovascular catastrophe, call the ambulance without hesitation. The number of death and disabilities caused by stroke can be decreased if the patient gets to a specialist, and the cause of the cerebrovascular catastrophe gets stopped in time (within 3 hours from the first symptoms) with the help of certain examinations. In this case there is a chance, even for a total recovery. 

 

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Széchenyi 2020