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What is a Stroke?

What is a stroke?

Part 1:

A stroke is when there is suddenly poor blood flow to an area of the brain (or spinal cord). This is usually caused by one of two problems: ischemic stroke, or lack of blood flow (usually due to a clot) and hemorrhagic, due to bleeding. Both result in decreased to no blood flow in an area, which can lead to damage or death of the brain tissue. Signs and symptoms of stroke depends on the area where it happened, how long, and how severe the decreased blood flow was. You may have heard of the FAST acronym to help you remember the most common signs of stroke. It stands for Facial drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulties, and Time. Time meaning you need to go to the hospital ASAP. If you have an ischemic stroke (clot) and can get to the hospital within 3 hours of onset of stroke, you can be administered the drug tPA (tissue plasminogen activator), basically a clot-buster, which can help decrease the severity of deficits. There are also "mini-strokes" or TIAs (transient ischemic attacks). The cause of TIAs are the same as a stroke; disrupted blood flow to an area. However, symptoms caused by a TIA resolve in 24 hours or less. There can still be tissue damage or death to the area, and having a TIA increases your risk for having a stroke.  Stay tuned for next week's column of ways to help prevent strokes, and what happens if you due suffer a stroke.


Now we know that strokes can be devastating, but a new international study has come out with 10 risk factors associated with stroke, and they are no surprise: physical inactivity, hypertension, poor diet, obesity, smoking, cardiac causes, diabetes, alcohol use, stress, and increased lipid levels. Of all of those risk factors, hypertension (high blood pressure) was the leading cause of stroke in all 6 regions in this study, associated with 48% of strokes worldwide. Another thing to note is that most of those risk factors are lifestyle choices that can be changed. We at Alliance Physical Therapy encourage you to live healthy to decrease risk factors of having a stroke, but if you do suffer a stroke, we have the knowledge, passion, and understanding to treat all deficits that can occur from stroke. We encourage you to choose Alliance Physical Therapy for your rehabilitation needs

407 Black Hills 762-6564

Yours in Health, Brittany

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