A stroke occurs when a part of brain suddenly ceases to function and goes dead. It is important to understand that a stroke is a problem that occurs in brain and has nothing to do with heart. A stroke occurs due to a vascular (blood vessel related) problem in brain which can be of 2 types.
Firstly there can be a rupture of blood vessel and blood comes out of it flooding the surrounding brain tissue ceasing its normal function (Haemorrhagic stroke); Secondly there can be a clot in the blood vessel which blocks of blood flow to the brain which then ceases to function (Ischaemic stroke). The reason behind Ischaemic stroke is similar to a heart attack and it is therefore often referred to as a “BRAIN ATTACK”.
Why is it important to know about Stroke:
Together the 2 types of stroke are the largest cause of death and disability in developing countries like India. The population based studies for India indicates that about 140 people per 100,000 population suffer from stroke every year; with the higher incidence in urban areas ranging from 334 to 424 per 100,000 population.
More importantly though such a killer disease is PREVENTABLE. An awareness of why stroke happens and their timely treatment and modification can reduce the likelihood of stroke by several folds.
Even if stroke strikes it is extremely important to know that the cessation of brain function is reversible (at least partially) up to a time limit.
Stroke, if recognised early and brought to an emergency department which can provide specialist treatment, the effects can be reversed and the doctors can limit the amount of brain damage. Therefore, a patient, who would otherwise be fully paralysed as a result of a stroke, can now mobilise and be independent with newer forms of treatment.