Neurological Specialist is one of the leading services in Awal Bros Hospital which serves neurological disorders. One of our specialties is dealing with stroke patients. Stroke is a type of damage to the part of the brain that is characterized by loss of function of a particular limb suddenly, due to a sudden loss of blood flow. Stroke is the third leading cause of death and the number one cause of disability worldwide.
How Stroke Symptoms ?
Each stroke has different depending on the cause, location of abnormalities and wide area affected.
- Muscle weakness or paralysis (face, arms, part of legs)
- Loss of sense of touch or numbness (face, arms, part of legs)
- Difficulty speaking (tatter talked, do not understand the language, cannot put out the word)
- Impaired vision
- Double vision or ghosting
- Loss of balance function
- Spinning sight or sense, which accompanied by the above symptoms
- Severe headache
- Vomiting, which accompanied by the above symptoms
- Loss of consciousness
What causes Stroke ?
If there is blockage in the blood vessels so that the blood unable to supply the brain in a few hours it will be the death of brain cells and loss of function of the brain. This is called ischemic stroke .
On another occasion , the blood vessels rupture and bleed artery into the brain tissue or the surface of the brain. Blood resulted in bruising of the brain cells. This is called a hemorrhagic stroke (bleeding stroke).
Risk factors for stroke :
- History of stroke in the family
- History of previous stroke
- Old age
- Male gender
- High Blood Pressure
- Blood fat disorders (dyslipidemia)
- Heart rhythm disturbances
- History of heart disease / heart attack
- Smoking habit
- Lack of activity
- Other risk factors
Several checks are performed on patients with stroke :
- CT Scan or MRI
- Laboratory examination of blood : search for causes such as diabetes (diabetus mellitus), high cholesterol
- Chest x-rays , Electrocardiogram (ECG) : to determine heart disease or lung disease
- Ultrasound examination of the blood vessels in the head and neck ( carotid ultrasound , transcranial Doppler – TCD ) , and heart ( echocardiography ) : to detect conditions that cause stroke
- Angiogram : radiology examination to determine abnormalities of brain blood vessels
During hospitalization, the patient’s condition will be monitored closely . Approximately 20% of patients will experience a worsening condition in the first week of the attack. Very high blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol that increase should be reduced by the use of drugs or nutrients regulator .
Rehabilitation goal for the patient is that they able to perform daily activities independently. Rehabilitation begins as soon as possible through physical therapy, grafting therapy, and speech therapy. The durability and type of rehabilitation depends on the needs, expectations, and responses of the patient obtained during rehabilitation.
For patients with ischemic stroke the treatment goes with blood thinners (antiplatelet or anticoagulation) to reduce the risk of subsequent stroke . If there is narrowing of the arteries in the neck that lead to stroke, then surgery may be needed to remove it.
At the stroke of bleeding due to abnormalities of brain blood vessels (arteriovenous malformation – AVM or blood vessels form a balloon – like aneurysm) it is necessary to enter the surgery or coil. Sometimes, surgery is an obligation treatment in case of severe brain swelling.
What is the Recovery Possibility after Stroke ?
Among stroke survivors who lived, half of them will recover well, but the other half will experience persistent disorder and disability. Improvement takes time, optimal improvement occurred within the first 3 months, then ramp improvements between 3-6 months after the stroke. But they can still improved in 1-2 years after stroke . This improvement depends on the location and type of stroke, caused abnormalities , patients their own health status and motivation
How to Prevent Stroke?
Routine checks to help doctors detect early and treat stroke risk factors of the patient, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, increased blood fats and heart disease. Lifestyle changes are also important to prevent stroke, like regular exercise, maintain a diet, and quit smoking. Medication prescribed by the doctor must also be taken regularly if threats of stroke were initiated.