Sunday, June 17, 2007

Facts About Stroke: The Top 3 Killer

Do you know ?Stroke killed 150,147 people in 2004 alone. It is the third largest cause of death worldwide, behind heart diseases and cancer. Around 700,000 people suffer from stroke each year, with 500,000 being new cases.

So how do stroke occurs? When a blood vessel supplying oxygen and nutrients to our brain bursts or gets clogged by a blood clot or fatty deposits (plague), part of the brain cells dies within minutes. This is because all body cells requires oxygen, and our brain cells are no different. This condition is called stroke.

There are two main types of stroke: ischemic strokes and hemorrhagic strokes. Ischemic strokes are the most common (80%) and are caused by clogged blood vessels. Hemorrhagic stokes are caused by bleeding from a burst blood vessel. There are different types of strokes, but are generally classified under these 2.

Stroke can cause disability
Although stroke is a form of brain disease, underestimating its effects is dangerous. Stroke victims may suffer damages to their entire body, and this can include:

* Hemiplegia - a common effect caused by stroke, complete paralysis on one side of the body
* Hemiparesis - similar to hemiplegia but less severe, suffers from one-sided weakness of the body
* Emotional breakdown - having difficulty controlling your emotions or expressing your self; suffers from depression
* Poor judgment, thinking, awareness, attention, learning and memory
* Difficulty in speaking
* Pain in hands and feet, especially when the temperature changes

People who had stroke usually takes months or even years to recover through medical treatment and rehabilitation therapy. Brain cells damaged or dead can never heal by itself nor can it be replaced. Even through treatment, patients may not be able to gain back their full bodily functions. They had to suffer long term disabilities.

Act F-A-S-T, Prevent Stroke
This is a small self-test for stroke. It is recommended to read Stroke Symptom & Warning Sign in addition to this article for better understanding. This should never replace a doctor's diagnose, and if in doubt, go for a medical checkup.

Smile, and check if one side of the face droops. Stroke can cause numbness in one side of your face.


Raise both arms, and check if one arm is drifting downwards. This is due to numbness or weakness in one side of your body.

Repeat a sentence from a friend, if your speech is slurred and you have difficulties understanding, this might be caused by stroke.

If you or a friend have the above symptoms, call 911 or seek immediate medical attention. Your brain cells might be dying as you hesitate!