What is a STROKE ?

Stroke is a sudden loss of brain function caused by the interruption of blood flow to the brain, as a result of either an ischemic stroke (a blood clot) or a hemorrhagic stroke (the rupture of a blood vessel and bleeding into or around the brain).

The interruption of blood flow to the brain causes brain cells (neurons) in the affected area to die. The effects of a stroke depend upon which part of the brain was injured and how much damage has occurred. About 80% of strokes are ischemic and 20% are hemorrhagic.

Stroke is a leading cause of disability worldwide, and approximately 400,000 Americans are living with the effects of a stroke. It is also the third leading cause of death in America. About 60% of people who have had a stroke are left with some form of disability such as paralysis, sensory loss, memory loss, language problems, and vision problems. Some people may also suffer from depression or other emotional conditions after a stroke.

Causes of Stroke

Each type of stroke has a different set of potential causes. Generally, however, stroke is more likely to affect a person if they:

  1. Are overweight or obese
  2. Are 55 years of age or older
  3. Have a personal or family history of stroke
  4. Have high blood pressure
  5. Have diabetes
  6. Have high cholesterol
  7. Have heart disease, carotid artery disease, or another vascular disease
  8. Are sedentary
  9. Consume alcohol excessively
  10. Smoke
  11. Use illicit drugs

Some studies have found that males have a higher risk of death from stroke than females. However, one 2016 review of studies suggests that these differences do not take into account adjustments for a race, age, the severity of the stroke, and other risk factors. The review explains that the risk of stroke mortality often increases due to age and demographic, rather than the biological differences between males and females.

Symptoms of Stroke

The symptoms of a stroke often appear without warning. Some of the main symptoms include:

  • Confusion, including difficulty speaking and understanding speech
  • A headache, possibly with altered consciousness or vomiting
  • Numbness or an inability to move parts of the face, arm, or leg, particularly on one side of the body
  • Vision problems in one or both eyes
  • Difficulty walking, including dizziness and a lack of coordination

Stroke can lead to long-term health problems. 

Depending on the speed of the diagnosis and treatment, a person can experience temporary or permanent disabilities after a stroke.

Some people may also experience:

  • Bladder or bowel control problems
  • Depression
  • Paralysis or weakness on one or both sides of the body
  • Difficulty controlling or expressing their emotions

Symptoms vary and may range in severity.

Treatment of Stroke

Stroke is a life-threatening disease that changes the life of the patient both physically and emotionally. There are some traditional options to treat this deadly disease but none have been successful to cure this disease permanently after the detrimental effects are had. On the other hand, stem cell therapy has been proven in studies to be more effective in treating patients with stroke induced damage. Cells can travel to the areas where the stroke has hit in the brain and start healing the damaged tissues. It is generally recommended to seek this type of treatment as soon as possible after someone has suffered a stroke. Through stem cell therapy, patients have been able to walk and engage in normal activities properly.