What is a stroke? Symptoms, causes and new treatments for the brain disease

A stroke is a life-threatening problem and can cause long-term health complications for those affected.

Over 100,000 people suffer from it in the UK each year, causing over 38,000 deaths.

A stroke is a life-threatening condition, so it's important that you know the key signs to look out for


A stroke is a life-threatening condition, so it’s important that you know the key signs to look out forPhoto credit: Getty

There are 1.3 million stroke survivors in the UK, many of whom live with disabilities.

Here we explain everything you need to know about the disease.

What is a stroke?

A stroke is a life-threatening brain attack that occurs when the blood supply to a part of your brain is cut off — without blood, the cells in your brain can be killed or damaged.

It can have different effects depending on where in the brain this damage occurs.

It can change the way you think and feel, and cause speech problems or weakness on one side.

For some, the effects of a stroke can be relatively minor and fade quickly, but others can be left with problems that make them dependent on other people.

About one in eight people who have a stroke dies within 30 days, so it’s important to get medical help as soon as possible – the sooner someone gets treatment, the more likely they are to survive.


Are there different types of strokes?

There are two main types of stroke.

Ischemic stroke is the most common stroke, accounting for 85 percent of all cases, and is caused by a blockage in the blood supply to the brain.

A hemorrhagic stroke is caused by bleeding in or around the brain when a weakened blood vessel supplying the brain bursts.

What are the symptoms?

The FAST method — which stands for Face, Arms, Speech, Time — is the easiest way to remember the most common stroke symptoms:

If you see any of these signs and think someone is having a stroke, dial 999 and ask for an ambulance immediately.

Other symptoms are:

  • sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the body
  • difficulty finding words
  • sudden blurred vision or loss of vision
  • sudden confusion, dizziness or unsteadiness
  • sudden and severe headache
  • Difficulty understanding what others are saying
  • difficulties swallowing

If any of these symptoms last less than a few hours, you could be suffering from a transient ischemic attack (TIA).

Sometimes referred to as a “mini-stroke,” this attack indicates a problem with the blood supply to your brain.

It’s important to contact your GP or local hospital if you experience these symptoms, as they could increase your risk of stroke in the near future.

What are the causes of a stroke?

Ischemic stroke, the most common form of the disease, occurs when a blood clot blocks the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain. This is typically caused by arteries narrowing over time.

While arteries can naturally narrow with age, other factors, some of which are preventable, can speed up the process:

  • smoking
  • obesity
  • drink too much alcohol
  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol
  • have diabetes

The less common hemorrhagic stroke is caused by bleeding in or around the brain, usually due to high blood pressure.

Again, the factors that contribute to high blood pressure can often be prevented:

  • be overweight or obese
  • drink too much alcohol
  • smoking
  • lack of exercise
  • Stress, which can cause a temporary increase in blood pressure

What treatments are there?

The NHS says effective treatment for stroke can prevent long-term disability and save lives.

Treatments depend on whether a stroke was caused by a blood clot or bleeding in the brain.

Andrew Marr suffered a stroke in 2013, Paying thousands of pounds for a new treatment in Florida to get rid of his leg brace.

The TV presenter opted for anti-inflammatory treatment with the anti-TNF (tumor necrosis factor) drug etanercept.

Other forms of stroke therapy include “virtual physical therapy,” which allows stroke victims to regain use of their paralyzed arms.

Other drugs developed for rheumatoid arthritis have been found to have the potential to reverse the damage caused by a stroke.

The Stroke Association recently warned that depending on where they live, patients face a disability lottery in accessing treatment.

in the February 2018 It turned out that researchers have developed a new stem cell-based treatment that reduces brain damage and speeds up the brain’s natural healing tendencies. What is a stroke? Symptoms, causes and new treatments for the brain disease

Fry Electronics Team

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