A stroke is a brain attack. It happens when the blood supply to part of your brain is cut off. Blood carries essential nutrients and oxygen to your brain. Without blood your brain cells can be damaged or die. This damage can have different effects, depending on where it happens in your brain. Therefore, a stroke can affect the way your body works as well as how you think, feel and communicate.
2 types of Strokes: the ischemic stroke and the hemorrhagic stroke.
Stroke affects approximately 6 million people of all ages and ethnic backgroung in the EU, with 1.1 million new cases every year.At least one in four stroke survivous will experience another stroke and recurrent stroke often have a higher rate of death disability.
Despite spontaneous recovery, more than 50% of stroke patients have residual impairment, causing a huge burden on the patients, their relatives, and society. The total cost of disorders of the brain was estimated at €798 billion in 2010. Of that, €64.1 billion is attributed to stroke alone, mainly due to the high costs of long-term special care and rehabilitation. The socio-economic burden of stroke is expected to increase due to aging of the population and the sharp rise in diabetes and obesity, which are reaching an epidemic level. Thus, effective interventions to alleviate residual impairment are urgently needed to help stroke patients
Current treatment options for stroke are limited to intravenous (IV) thrombolysis by Alteplase within 4.5h, thrombectomy, aspirin within 48h, decompressive craniectomy for large strokes, and management in stroke care units for intensive care and rehabilitation.
Preventive approaches are effective in reducing stroke mortality and incidence. However, while thrombolysis together with improved acute care has led to decreased mortality, the surviving patients are left with sensorimotor and cognitive disabilities, resulting in significant additional burden to rehabilitative care. Thus, effective treatments beyond prevention and acute care are urgently needed. This requires a sophisticated understanding of stroke pathophysiology. It is well-known that stroke effects are not limited to neurons but involve glial and endothelial cells and the surrounding extracellular matrix in a “glio-neurovascular niche” that interacts with the peripheral immune system. For these reasons, new therapies should target all these systems rather than narrowly targeting an individual deleterious process, perhaps avoiding the failures of past clinical translational attempts to develop specific protective drugs
After a stroke, therapies are focused on helping the brain’s undamaged areas to re-learn lost skills such as walking or talking (termed neurorehabilitation). This involves a wide range of professionals, including neurologists, speech therapists, nurses and physiotherapists. In some cases, healthy areas of the brain can learn to take over from those areas that were damaged by the stroke. Unfortunately, severely damaged parts of the brain cannot recover because the body cannot replace the lost brain cells. This is where scientists hope that stem cells may play a role, helping us to find ways to boost the body’s repair systems.
Risk factors and prevention:
Use the FAST technic and as the stroke is a medical emergency, you need to call 999 immediately.
The quicker your stroke is diagnosed and treated, the better your recovery will be. A stroke is usually diagnosed using a brain scan: either a computed tomography (CT) scan or a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan.