Medicine and Health
A stroke is a medical emergency that occurs due to the loss of or interrupted blood supply to a part of the brain. The annual incidence rate of this condition in Africa is nearly 316 per 100,000 people, making it one of the highest rates of incidence for stroke in the world.
Also, studies have revealed stress to be the most important modifiable risk factor for cerebrovascular stroke in the African population. Some other risk factors include diabetes mellitus, obesity, stress, smoking, dyslipidemia, physical inactivity, and unhealthy dietary habits.
This suggests that creating awareness about the risk and treatment of stroke and the underlying conditions is essential for reducing the incidence of this condition.
What is a stroke?
A stroke occurs when the supply of blood to a part of the brain is reduced or interrupted, preventing the brain tissue from receiving oxygen and nutrients. As a result, the brain cells begin to die within a few minutes.
What are the symptoms of a stroke?
- Trouble in speaking
- Difficulty in understanding what others are saying
- Numbness or paralysis of the face, arm, or leg
- Difficulty in seeing with one or both the eyes
- Difficulty in walking
What are the causes of a stroke?
The 2 main causes of a stroke include ischemic stroke (a blocked artery) and hemorrhagic stroke (leakage or bursting of a blood vessel). Some patients may have only a temporary or transient disruption in the blood flow to a part of the brain. This is called the transient ischemic attack (TIA), which does not cause lasting symptoms.
The risk factors for strokeinclude:
- Being obese or overweight
- Heavy alcohol intake
- Physical inactivity
- Use of illegal drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Cardiovascular diseases, like heart failure, heart infection heart defects,
- Irregular heart rhythm, like atrial fibrillation
- Cigarette smoking
- COVID-19 infection
Diagnosis of stroke
The typical symptoms like the sudden onset of paralysis or numbness, usually on one side of the body, often point to the diagnosis of a stroke. Tests like a CT scan of the brain or cerebral angiogram can be performed to confirm the diagnosis.
The emergency treatment of stroke depends on whether the patient is having an ischemic stroke or a hemorrhagic stroke. It is advisable to visit your healthcare provider at the earliest if you develop any signs of a stroke to receive timely treatment and prevent serious complications.
It is also important to assess your risk of a stroke with regular monitoring of blood pressure and other risk factors.
We have a team of skilled medical professionals who have expertise in the management of stroke. You can visit our center or contact us to learn more about the various methods for the diagnosis and treatment of this condition.