Breaking down brain strokes

Several researches and studies say that there has been more than 100 per cent increase in incidence of stroke in India from 1978 to 2018.

Published: 06th June 2019 06:14 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th June 2019 06:14 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Several researches and studies say that there has been more than 100 per cent increase in incidence of stroke in India from 1978 to 2018. Strokes are brain attacks that occur when the blood supply to the brain is blocked. Unlike other medical emergencies where simple first aid can be provided at home, quick intervention by a trained medico is the only way to increase the person’s chance of survival and reduce the risk of long-term disability when one has a stroke. Doctors in Chennai say the awareness on stroke in the city is very low. Director of neurology and neurosurgery at Dr Mehta’s Hospitals, Dr K Bhanu, shares a few quick pointers on the medical condition.

  • Strokes occur when the blood supply to a part of your brain is interrupted or reduced, depriving brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients. Within minutes, brain cells begin to die.
  • Every minute you delay in treatment, the more number of neurons die. 
  • Symptoms can vary depending on which part of the brain is affected.
  • A few symptoms include difficulty in seeing, weakness on one side, numbness on one side of the body, difficulty in speaking, difficulty in swallowing and losing consciousness.
  • Even if the stroke symptoms resolve quickly, immediate medical attention is necessary.
  • Often, when people wake up with numbness on one side, they tend to think it is because of their sleeping position and leave it unattended, which can have extreme consequences.
  • First responder, even in case of slightest doubt, should take the patient to the nearest hospital with CT scan facility. They must note the person’s symptoms. It is important to give the emergency personnel as much information as possible about the situation including the time that the symptoms started.
  • Time is important because in certain cases effective drugs can be given within three to four hours after the onset of symptoms. This will reduce the severity of the disability.
  • Brain stroke and heart stroke are different. Heart attack is only caused due to reduction in bloody supply, whereas stroke can occur because of brain haemorrhage or reduction in blood supply to the brain. Treatment of the two are different.
  • Having associated medical conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, can increase the risk of future stroke and may hinder recovery.
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