What is Stroke (Paralysis)?
A stroke, or paralysis, occurs when the vitally important blood and oxygen flow to the brain is suddenly cut off or reduced.
In cases where the blood flow to a part of the brain is reduced or interrupted, a stroke occurs, which prevents the brain from supplying oxygen and nutrients.
Therefore, the brain and its cells begin to die within minutes. Temporary or permanent loss of function occurs at the stroke site.
Stroke is an emergency. And immediate treatment is very important. Early intervention can reduce brain damage and other risks. Or it can prevent it. Current treatments can help prevent disability from stroke.
Stroke (Paralysis) Causes and Triggering Factors
The most important factors that cause stroke:
- Smoking and alcohol consumption
- Dyslipidemia (excess blood lipids in the body)
- Lack of exercise
- Age, ethnicity, gender, family history and genetics are among the non-modifiable factors for stroke. It is more common in African-Americans and men, especially in the age range of 50-55 years and above.
- Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a heart rhythm disorder that causes at least 20% of ischemic stroke, a common type of stroke, and is more disabling than other types.
- Hormones, hormone treatments, use of birth control pills, as well as increased estrogen levels during pregnancy and childbirth increase the risk of stroke.
- Drug use
What are the Types of Stroke?
It is the most common type of stroke. The brain’s blood vessels become narrowed or blocked, causing severely reduced blood flow (ischemia).
Clogged or narrowed blood vessels are caused by fat particles accumulating in the veins and blood clots and other debris that build up in the blood vessels in the brain circulating in the bloodstream.
A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain leaks or ruptures. Brain hemorrhages can be caused by many conditions that affect your blood vessels.
What are the Symptoms of Stroke (Paralysis)?
If you or someone around you is having a stroke, it is very important to pay attention to the moment when symptoms begin. Because some treatment techniques can be effective when action is taken right after the stroke.
Having Difficulty Speaking and Understanding What Other People Are Saying
You may be confused and have difficulty understanding what is being said.
Paralysis or Numbness Occurring in the Face, Arm, or Leg
There may be sudden numbness in your face, arm or leg.
Sudden blurring or darkened vision may be experienced in one or both eyes, or the surroundings may be seen double.
Sudden and severe headache, which may be accompanied by vomiting, dizziness or loss of consciousness.
It is possible to experience sudden dizziness and loss of balance.
If stroke symptoms are noticed in a person, immediate medical attention should be sought.
Take quick action, ask the stroke survivor to follow these steps and gauge their reaction.
Is there a part of the face drooping when the patient smiles?
Ask the patient to raise their arms up. Is there any abnormality in the raising of the arms?
Ask the person to repeat an easy sentence. Is there any abnormality in his speech?
If one or more of the symptoms are seen, the emergency support line should be sought without delay. Don’t waste time seeing changes in symptoms. Every moment is of great importance for paralysis. The longer the stroke lasts, the greater the risk of brain damage and disability.
What Are Stroke Complications?
Stroke causes temporary or permanent disability in some areas, depending on how long the brain is deprived of blood flow and which part is affected.
Complications may include;
- Loss of muscle movement
- Speech difficulties
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Memory loss or difficulty thinking
- Emotional problems
- Behavior changes
Being aware of the risk factors that may cause stroke, following the doctor’s recommendations and adopting a healthy lifestyle are the best steps to take to prevent stroke.
Many stroke prevention techniques are similar to heart disease prevention techniques.
And it includes recommendations for a healthy lifestyle in general:
- To control hypertension
- Reducing the amount of cholesterol and saturated fat
- Quitting tobacco use
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Following a diet rich in fruits and vegetables
- Exercising regularly
- Limiting or eliminating alcohol use
- Managing diabetes (Diet, exercise and weight loss can be helpful in keeping blood sugar at a healthy scale.)
Diagnosis of Stroke (Paralysis)
Various tests are performed to listen and control blood pressure and blood movements, and a neurological nerve test that your doctor considers appropriate.
Your infection status, blood clotting rate, tests to measure your blood sugar level, and a blood test may be done.
Computed Tomography (CT) Scan:
X-ray; In a CT scan, it is used to create a detailed image of your brain. CT scan; may indicate bleeding in the brain, ischemic stroke, tumor, or other conditions. The purpose of the scan is the process of injecting dye into the bloodstream for more detailed observation of the neck and brain blood vessels.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI):
MRI uses powerful radio waves and magnets to create a detailed view of your brain. It is used in the examination of damage to the brain tissue caused by stroke and brain hemorrhage.
This test is used to observe the sound waves in detail inside the carotid arteries in the neck and shows the blood flow and fat deposits (plaques) in detail.
In this procedure, a flexible tube (catheter) is inserted through your groin, diverting it into your main arteries. For X-ray imaging, your doctor will inject dye into your blood vessels, resulting in a detailed view of the neck and brain area.
An echocardiogram uses sound waves to create detailed images of your heart. It is a measurement system that measures the source of the clot by descending from your heart to your neck.
What are Stroke Treatment Methods?
Emergency treatment techniques for stroke differ depending on the type of stroke. In order to treat ischemic stroke, specialists must quickly restore blood flow to the brain.
If you have had an ischemic stroke or TIA, your doctor may recommend medications to reduce your risk of having another stroke.
Medication given to break up the clot that is blocking the artery should be given within four to five hours of the onset of symptoms. It is better to give the drugs as early as possible. Rapid treatment not only increases the survival rate, but also reduces the risks that may occur.
Emergency Endovascular Procedures
Specialists sometimes resort to the method of treating ischemic strokes directly within the clogged blood vessel. In terms of endovascular treatment outcomes, this method has shown great improvement and reduced potential disability over the long term. Emergency procedures should be carried out as soon as possible.
Drugs Given Directly to the Brain
Specialists insert a long, thin tube into an artery in the groin and deliver this tube directly to the area where the stroke occurred. It takes a little longer than injected tubes.
Clot Removal with Stent Collector
Specialists can use an instrument attached to the catheter to directly remove the clot from the clogged blood vessel in the patient’s brain.
Methods such as opening an artery narrowed due to plaque may be preferred in order to reduce the possibility of transient ischemic attack or other stroke. The available alternatives may differ depending on the situation;
This method reduces the risk of ischemic stroke by removing the plaque blocking the carotid artery.
Angioplasty and Stents
In angioplasty, a catheter is passed from an artery in the groin to the carotid artery.
After this procedure, a stent may be placed to widen the narrowed artery.
Emergency treatment of hemorrhagic stroke focuses on keeping bleeding under control and reducing brain pressure caused by excess fluid.
Treatment alternatives include:
When blood thinning drugs are used to prevent blood clotting, the patient may be given drugs or blood product transfusions to counteract blood thinners.
If the bleeding site is large, your doctor may perform surgery to remove the blood and lower the pressure in your brain. After emergency treatment, the patient is followed closely for at least 1 day.
Later stages also include activities to recover and return to normal life. If the stroke has damaged the right brain, movements and sensations in the left part of the body are affected.
People who have had a stroke are included in a rehabilitation program. Here, the treatment program is shaped according to the patient’s age, general health status and the level of disability caused by the stroke.