A stroke is a medical condition in which decreased blood flow to the brain results in cell death.
There are two main types of stroke:
Ischemic: Due to lack of blood flow
Hemorrhagic: Due to bleeding
Signs and symptoms of a stroke:
It may include dizziness, difficulties in understanding or speaking, loss of vision and inability to move or feel on one side of the body, pneumonia and loss of bladder control. The symptoms of stroke can be long-lasting.
Risk factors for Stroke:
It includes high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, tobacco smoking, obesity, a previous TIA, diabetes mellitus, blockage of a blood vessel and atrial fibrillation.
Diagnosis and Prevention:
Diagnosis is usually based on a physical exam and supported by medical imaging such as MRI scan or CT scan, Electrocardiogram (ECG) and blood tests are done to determine risk factors.
Prevention includes reducing risk factors, as well as using statins, aspirin, surgery to open up the problematic narrowing of arteries, and warfarin in those with atrial fibrillation.
Stroke is a leading cause of disability in the United States, and recently declined from the third to fourth leading cause of death. 95% of strokes occur in people with 45 years of age and older, and two-thirds of strokes occur in those above the age of 65.
Between 1990 and 2010 the number of strokes increased by 10% in the developing world and decreased by 10% in the developed world. Overall, two-thirds of strokes recorded in those above the age 65. South Asians are predominantly high at risk of stroke, accounting for 40% of stroke deaths globally. 60% of stroke deaths occur in women however men are 25% more likely to suffer from stroke than women.