A stroke is a condition where the blood supply to a part of your brain is reduced or interrupted, lowering oxygen and nutrient supply to that part. As brain cells can die within minutes, it is an emergency, and immediate treatment is essential. This helps to prevent brain damage and complications.
Brain Stroke Symptoms
- Weakness on one side of the body
- Difficulty is speaking/slurring
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Change in alertness
- Loss of balance or dizziness
- Abnormal vision like seeing double or blurred
The acronym BE FAST (Balance, Eyes, Face, Arm, Speech, Time) is typically used to diagnose stroke. Loss of balance, difficulty in seeing, face drooping, arm/leg weakness, and speech difficulty are signs that it is time to seek emergency treatment.
Types of Stroke
There are two main types of stroke:
- Ischemic stroke: It results due to reduced blood flow to the brain cells and tissues. Blockage of brain blood vessels due to clot is the major cause. Clot can arise from the heart or the brain blood vessels. An ischemic stroke is the most typical type of stroke and accounts for 87% of stroke cases.
- Hemorrhagic stroke: It results from a ruptured blood vessel in the brain. The blood from the ruptured vessels accumulates and puts pressure on the surrounding brain areas, and it can be fatal. In fact, only two-third of the patients with hemorrhagic stroke survive. A hemorrhagic stroke accounts for the remaining 13% of stroke cases and has a higher death rate than ischemic stroke.
Brain Stroke Treatment
The doctor will decide the ideal treatment based on the type of stroke, causes, and stroke onset.
- Clot buster drugs (Can be given till 4.5 hours after stroke onset)
- Mechanical Thrombectomy (Can be done till 24 hours of stroke onset)
Procedures such as carotid endarterectomy and angioplasty and stents can also help manage ischemic stroke.
- Emergency measures: This includes medicines to lower blood pressure and neutralize the effect of blood thinners.
- Surgical clipping: A tiny clamp is used at the base of the aneurysm to stop blood flow to it.
- Coiling: Here, tiny detachable coils are placed into the aneurysm to fill it to block blood flow into the aneurysm.
- Surgical removal of AVM: Smaller AVMs present in accessible brain area are removed surgically, eliminating the risk of rupture.
- Stereotactic radiosurgery: It is an advanced minimally invasive treatment. Here, multiple beams of highly focused radiation are used to repair blood vessel malformations.