You can’t do anything if you’re young?…falls and truths about stroke

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Cerebrovascular images of cerebral infarction and cerebral hemorrhage
Accurate knowledge of stroke is of great help in prevention. [사진=클립아트코리아]

According to statistics in 2019, before the outbreak of COVID-19, stroke was the second leading cause of death, accounting for 11% of deaths worldwide. More than 100,000 new stroke patients occur each year in Korea and 600,000 new stroke patients in the United States.

There are three types of stroke if classified in detail. The first and most common, accounting for 87% of cases, is ischemic stroke. It’s just a cerebral infarction.

Ischemic stroke refers to a state in which brain nerve cells fail to function due to reduced cerebral blood flow due to occlusion of cerebral blood vessels. An ischemic stroke occurs when blood flow through an artery supplying oxygen to the brain is blocked.

The second is a hemorrhagic stroke, in which an artery in the brain leaks or ruptures, damaging surrounding tissue. Hemorrhagic stroke is also called cerebral hemorrhage. A third type of stroke is a transient ischemic attack, also called a ‘mini-stroke’. It occurs when blood flow to the brain is temporarily blocked for as little as 5 minutes at the longest.

Stroke is a common disease, but there are many misunderstood facts about it. Fallacies, for example, include that strokes rarely happen to young people or that they are hard to prevent. Based on the results of various studies, I corrected the error about stroke and found out what the truth was.

Do strokes only happen to older people?

Age is a clear risk factor for stroke. Stroke risk doubles every 10 years after age 55. However, stroke can occur at any age. One study found that 34% of hospitalized stroke patients were under the age of 65.

Another study reported that about 15% of ischemic strokes occurred in young adults and adolescents. “Stroke risk factors, including hypertension, diabetes, obesity, lipid disorders, and smoking, were the most common coexisting factors in this age group,” the researchers explained.

◇Stroke cannot be prevented?

The most common risk factors for stroke include high blood pressure, smoking, high cholesterol, obesity, diabetes, head or neck trauma, and cardiac arrhythmias. Many of these risk factors can be altered by lifestyle.

Regular exercise and maintaining a healthy diet can reduce risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, and diabetes. Other risk factors include alcohol consumption and stress. Working to reduce or eliminate these lifestyle risk factors can also reduce your risk of stroke.

◇Stroke symptoms are hard to notice?

There are methods that can help you identify stroke symptoms. It is called ‘FAS-T’ promoted by health authorities in the United States, which is derived from the first letters of Face, Arms, Speech, and Time.

Face should be checked for facial paralysis, the tail of one side of the mouth does not droop or rise when smiling, and for Arm, check for one limb paralysis, muscle weakness, loss of strength or inability to lift one arm or leg. should be checked

Speech (speech) should be checked to see if the pronunciation is indistinct, unable to speak or not understood, and Time (time) means that if these symptoms appear, call 119 immediately and go to a hospital where treatment can be done quickly.

Symptoms of a stroke include numbness or weakness in one side of the face, arm, leg or body; confusion or difficulty speaking or understanding speech; loss of vision in one or both eyes; dizziness or loss of balance. Gait disturbance, including loss of coordination and loss of coordination △ Severe headache of unknown cause.

△Do all strokes have symptoms?

Not all strokes have symptoms, and some studies have shown that asymptomatic strokes are much more common than symptomatic strokes. One study found that of more than 11 million stroke cases, 770,000 had symptoms, while about 10 million more were asymptomatic.

Evidence of an asymptomatic stroke appears on a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan as a white spot of damaged tissue that develops after a blood vessel is blocked or ruptured. Often, asymptomatic strokes are identified when an MRI scan is checked for symptoms including headaches, cognitive problems and dizziness.

Asymptomatic strokes should be treated similarly to symptomatic strokes. Asymptomatic strokes increase the risk of symptomatic strokes, cognitive decline, and dementia in the future.

Is a stroke incurable?

“Strokes are often mistakenly believed to be irreversible and incurable,” experts say. “If you arrive at the hospital early enough for treatment, within minutes or hours after symptoms start, you may be given a blood clot-busting drug infused or treated to remove the clot,” experts say. Stroke symptoms can be reversed with mechanical thrombectomy or surgery.”

“The longer the symptoms persist, the lower the chance of a good outcome. Therefore, it is important to call an ambulance and go to the nearest hospital when stroke symptoms such as speech difficulties, double vision, paralysis or numbness begin.”

Studies have shown that people who arrive at the hospital within 3 hours of first experiencing symptoms generally have significantly fewer disabilities than those who arrive 3 months later.

Is it possible to recover quickly from a stroke?

Recovery from a stroke can take months, if not years. However, most may never fully recover. According to the American Stroke Association, typical survival situations for stroke survivors include:

10% of survivors can make a near-complete recovery. Another 10% require treatment in nursing homes or other long-term facilities. 25% recover from minor damage. 40% experienced moderate to severe impairment.

Studies have shown that intensive exercise rehabilitation in the first two to three months after a stroke increases the likelihood of recovery. Beyond this period, over six months, it can be quite slow, but improvement is still possible.

△Is a mini-stroke not that dangerous?

Experts say, “The term itself is misleading because it is easy to misunderstand that a mini-stroke is a small stroke with a low risk.” “A mini-stroke is a transient ischemic attack.”

They say, “A mini stroke is not a small stroke, but it can be a precursor to a major stroke.” .

◇Stroke has nothing to do with family history?

Single gene disorders, such as sickle cell disease, increase the risk of stroke. Genetic factors, including a higher risk for hypertension and other cardiovascular risk factors, may also indirectly increase stroke risk.

Because families are likely to share environments and lifestyles, unhealthy lifestyle factors are likely to increase stroke risk among family members, especially when combined with genetic risk factors.

Does a stroke always cause paralysis?

Stroke is a leading cause of long-term disability. However, not all people who have had a stroke experience paralysis or weakness. Studies have shown that stroke results in reduced mobility in all stroke survivors aged 65 years or older.

However, the long-term effects of a stroke vary depending on several factors, such as the site where the stroke occurred and the amount of brain tissue. For example, damage to the left side of the brain will affect the right side of the body and vice versa.

If a stroke occurs in the left brain, △paralysis of the right side of the body △speech disorders △slow and cautious behavior △memory loss occurs. If it occurs in the right brain, △ paralysis on the left side of the body △ visual impairment △ inquisitive behavior △ memory loss, etc. occur.

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