Jinkushal Cardiac Care & Superspeciality hospital

Warning Signs of Brain Stroke

  • Posted by: Mayank Pandey
  • Category: Uncategorized
Brain Strokes

Warning Signs of Brain Stroke

Detecting the warning signs of a stroke is crucial for prompt medical intervention, as timely treatment can significantly minimize the damage and improve the chances of recovery. A stroke, also known as a Cerebrovascular Accident (CVA), occurs when blood flow to a part of the brain is interrupted or reduced, depriving brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients.

The warning signs of a stroke can vary depending on the type of stroke (Ischemic Or Hemorrhagic) and the specific area of the brain affected.

Two Types Of Stroke

Type of Stroke

The most common type of stroke is an Ischemic Stroke, which is caused by a blood clot. A clot can form in an artery that supplies blood to the brain. A clot that forms elsewhere can travel through the blood vessels until it becomes trapped in one that supplies blood to the brain. When blood can’t get to a section of the brain, the brain tissue in that area dies off because it’s not receiving oxygen.

The other type of stroke is called a Hemorrhagic Stroke. This is when a weak blood vessel bursts due to high blood pressure, causing blood to pool and pressure to build in the brain

Stroke Predisposition OR Who Is Likely To Have A Stroke?

Anybody can have a stroke, but your risk increases with age.

– Family history: A family history of stroke or mini-stroke, also called atransient ischemic attack, increases your risk.

– Age: People over 65 years of age are more at risk.

– Gender: women are more likely to die from stroke than men

– Medical conditions: Other medical conditions that increase your risk of stroke include-

  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol
  • diabetes
  • cardiovascular disease like Atrial fibrillation
  • certain blood disorders
  • pregnancy
  • cancer
  • autoimmune diseases

– Lifestyle risk factors: Some factors that increase your risk of stroke are beyond your control. But many lifestyle choices that can increase your likelihood of having a stroke are not.

  • long-term hormone replacement therapies and birth control pills.
  • smoking
  • physical inactivity
  • alcohol abuse
  • drug use, such as cocaine, heroin, and amphetamines

Signs & Symptoms Of Stroke

Here’s a detailed breakdown of the warning signs or symptoms-

  • Sudden numbness or weakness: One of the most common warning signs of a stroke is sudden numbness or weakness, typically affecting the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body. This can manifest as drooping of the face, weakness in an arm or leg, or difficulty in moving a limb.
  • Confusion or trouble speaking: Individuals experiencing a stroke may suddenly have difficulty speaking or understanding speech. They may slur their words, have trouble finding the right words, or be unable to comprehend language properly.
  • Trouble seeing: Vision problems can occur suddenly during a stroke, including blurred or double vision, loss of vision in one or both eyes, or difficulty seeing out of one eye.
  • Severe headache: A sudden, severe headache with no known cause can be a warning sign of a haemorrhagic stroke, which occurs when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures or leaks.
  • Dizziness or loss of balance: A feeling of dizziness, loss of coordination, or trouble walking can occur during a stroke. This may manifest as sudden vertigo, difficulty maintaining balance, or a sensation of spinning.
  • Difficulty walking: Individuals experiencing a stroke may have sudden difficulty walking, including stumbling, loss of balance, or a lack of coordination. They may also experience sudden weakness in the legs.
  • Facial drooping: One side of the face may droop or become numb, making it difficult to smile or control facial expressions. This asymmetrical facial droop is a classic sign of stroke.
  • Sudden onset of symptoms: Stroke symptoms usually come on suddenly and may worsen rapidly over minutes to hours. It’s crucial to pay attention to the sudden onset of any unusual symptoms, even if they seem mild at first.

It’s important to remember the acronym FAST as a simple way to recognize the signs of a stroke and act quickly-

  • Face drooping: Ask the person to smile. Is one side of the face drooping?
  • Arm weakness: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • Speech difficulty: Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Is their speech slurred or strange?
  • Time to call emergency services: If you observe any of these signs, it’s time to call emergency services immediately. Time is critical in stroke treatment, and early intervention can save lives and minimize long-term disability.

How Is Stroke Diagnosed?

A brain stem stroke is a life-threatening medical emergency. If you have symptoms that indicate a stroke, your doctor will likely order imaging tests such as MRI scan, CT scan, Doppler ultrasound, or angiogram (DIGITAL SUBSTRACTION ANGIOGRAPHY). Heart function testing may include electrocardiogram and echocardiogram. Additional diagnostic procedures may include blood tests, as well as kidney and liver function testing.

Treatment & Approaches For Stroke

Interventional or Minimal Invasive Approach

In the event of ischemic stroke, the first line of treatment is to dissolve or remove the blood clot. If a stroke is diagnosed quickly enough, a clot-busting medications can be given. If possible, a catheter can be used to remove the clot in a procedure called an embolectomy. In some cases, angioplasty and stenting are used to widen an artery and keep it open.

Such type of interventional procedure is always done in a CATHLAB and not in operation theatre and is operated by interventional radiologist or neurologist so before rushing to a hospital check whether the hospital has both OT and CATHLAB.

At Jinkushal hospital we have a CATHLAB and Operation theatre alongside to manage any type of complications, the specialty of this CATHLAB is that it has inbuilt CT scan so in case of emergency we do not waste time transferring the patient for CT scan and the procedure is done with precision and reduces the chances of complications.

Surgical Approach

For a hemorrhagic stroke, the bleeding must be stopped. In this surgical approach the skull is opened surgically (craniotomy) to release the pressure. And if the stroke was due to aneurysm then a clip is sometimes placed on the aneurysm to stop the bleeding. Medication to reduce clotting also may be required.

In the meantime, your medical team may need to take additional measures to keep your heart and lungs functioning.

Long-Term Outlook

A brain stem stroke can result in serious long-term problems. Medication and ongoing therapy may be necessary. Physical therapy can help people regain large motor skills and occupational therapy can help with everyday tasks.

Speech therapy can help you regain control over how you speak and swallow.
Some survivors of brain stem stroke are left with severe disabilities. In these cases, psychological counseling can help them adjust.

Preventing Stroke

Despite the risks that you can’t avoid, there are things you can do to decrease your chances of stroke. Some general guidelines to follow include:

• Eat a low-fat and low-sodium diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and fish.
• Exercise regularly.
• Don’t smoke.
• Don’t abuse alcohol or drugs.

If you’re obese or have high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, or a type of chronic illness, follow your doctor’s recommendations for keeping them under control.

If you or someone around you experiences any of these warning signs, don’t wait. Call emergency services immediately. Even if symptoms seem to improve or disappear, it’s essential to seek medical attention promptly, as transient symptoms can still indicate a serious underlying condition like a mini-stroke (transient ischemic attack) that requires medical evaluation and treatment.
At Jinkushal Cardiac Care & Superspeciality Hospital, we have a team of highly experienced Neurologists and Neurosurgeons who are experts in handling any emergency stroke situation.

Author: Mayank Pandey

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