Brain Stroke – Beware of the silent killer before it strikes you

Brain Stroke The Detailed Guide

Overview

According to business today, “Every twenty seconds, one Indian suffers from a brain stroke India accounts for 60% of all stroke patients globally. Approximately 1.8 million people in India suffer from brain stroke. Less than one in four Indians are aware of the symptoms of the brain.”

As a neurosurgical hospital vadodara, we wish to educate people and generate awareness about brain stroke. Just like a heart attack, a brain stroke also happens suddenly. A little awareness about it can go a long way in saving lives.

A brain stroke affects the brain. It is referred to as Cerebral Vascular Accident (CVA). It means

Cerebral = “Brain or skull.”

Vascular = “Of vessels or tubes.”

So a problem that deals with the brain and its vessels or tubes is called a cerebral vascular accident.

Depending on what type of brain stroke a person suffers, and treatment and recovery depend.

Types Of Brain Stroke

What are the different types of brain stroke?

Brain Stroke 1-01

The above three are the main types of brain stroke. However, a further classification of brain strokes is possible depending on what forms the clot or why the clot is formed. The below image will give you a clear idea about the classification.

Ischaemic Stroke:

This is the most familiar type of stroke that we have observed as best neurosurgeon in vadodara. 87% of brain strokes are Ischaemic strokes. Ischaemic stroke occurs when there is a clot in the brain. Even a small clot in the brain obstructs the blood flow and results in damage to the cells.

Two factors mainly cause ischemic strokes

Atherosclerosis: It happens when excess plaque builds up in arteries.

Atrial Fibrillation: It is heart rhythm irregularity.

Ischemic strokes are classified into two types depending on the way the blood clots are formed.

Thrombotic:

In a thrombotic brain stroke, a blood clot is formed in a blood vessel that supplies blood to the brain. If the brain flow is uneven then it causes brain cell death.

Depending on the size of the clot, it can happen in a day or take many days.

Embolic:

A thrombotic clot is formed from blood whereas an embolic clot can be formed from fat, air or bacteria. It can be formed anywhere in the body and travels to the brain. As a neurosurgeon hospital in Vadodara, we have observed that people who suffer from an embolic stroke are more likely to suffer from atrial fibrillation.

Haemorrhagic Stroke:

When a weak blood vessel ruptures or bursts it results in a haemorrhagic stroke. As best neurosurgeons in Vadodara, we find them to be the most dangerous of all. Due to the bleeding, pressure builds up on the brain tissue and as a result of it, the brain tissue or brain cell is damaged. Many times high blood pressure is found to be a leading cause of this type of haemorrhage.

Depending on where the bleeding occurs in the brain it can be classified as under.

Intracerebral Haemorrhage:

An intracerebral haemorrhage happens deep in the brain. The thin-walled arteries in the brain burst. As a result of it, the blood flows into the brain tissue.  The pool of blood forms inside the brain. In medical terms, we refer to it as a hematoma. The presence of blood increases the pressure within the skull and damages the brain.

As a result of intracerebral haemorrhage, the ruptured artery is starved of oxygen. This results in cell damage/death in the brain.

Subarachnoid Haemorrhage:

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6X3RCW9MYjc

Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) is a colourless body fluid. It is found within the tissue that surrounds the brain and spinal cord of all vertebrates. The space where cerebrospinal fluid is found is called subarachnoid space.

When a haemorrhage occurs in this area it is referred to as a subarachnoid haemorrhage. A ruptured aneurysm (swelled up blood vessel) causes the blood to enter subarachnoid space.

As a result of this, the place where the blood vessel is ruptured becomes devoid of oxygen and the cells nearby begin to die.

Similarly, the blood which has entered the subarachnoid space disturbs the normal flow of cerebrospinal fluid. The excess blood present in this place causes the ventricles to enlarge. It is medically referred to as ‘hydrocephalus.’

Cryptogenic Stroke:

A cryptogenic stroke happens without any reason. It happens suddenly. However, the following things make you prone to a cryptogenic stroke.

Probable Causes of a Cryptogenic Stroke

Irregular heartbeat - atrial fibrillation

Heart structure problem - Patent Foramen Ovale

Hardening of the arteries - Large Artery Atherosclerosis

Blood clotting disorder - Thrombophilia

Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA):

A transient Ischemic Attack occurs if there is a temporary blockage in the brain due to a blood clot. But it’s a strong indication that the stroke will occur in the future. As best neurosurgeons in Vadodara, we often advise our patients to be extra careful if they have experienced TIA.

Symptoms & Risk Factors

What are the Symptoms of a Brain Stroke?

A brain stroke is equally important as a heart attack. It is very necessary to administer medicines and injections soon after the stroke. Else, it can cause paralysis or even prove to be fatal.

Remember the acronym  F.A.S.T to identify a stroke.

Face Drooping Does one side of the face hang/bend downward or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the smile uneven?

Arm Weakness Do you feel weakness or numbness in your arms or fingers? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

Speech Difficulty Is the speech slurred?

Time to call an ambulance.

Other Symptoms Of Stroke Are

Numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg. This commonly happens on one side of the body.

Confusion, trouble in speaking or understanding speech

Trouble in seeing through one or both eyes

Difficulty in walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination

Severe Headache with no known cause

What are the Risk Factors for a Brain Stroke?

Risk Factors

Although a brain stroke can happen anytime as the best neurosurgeons in Vadodara, we must guide you on the factors that make you prone to it.

Diseases/Medicines Which Make You Prone To A Brain Stroke Include

High Blood Pressure:

High BP damages the vessels that supply blood to the brain. It is found to be a leading cause of stroke. Generally, a BP of about 140/90 is considered to be high. But it can vary a bit depending on your age. If you have any, you can visit our neurosurgical hospital Vadodara.

Heart Disease:

Having heart disease is in itself the biggest risk factor for stroke. You need to be extra careful if you have heart disease.

Diabetes:

Diabetes causes sugar to be present in your bloodstream instead of the Cell. The presence of sugar in the blood damages the blood vessels and turn causes a brain stroke.

Birth Control Pills:

According to NCBI, the use of birth control pills increases the risk of  Ischemic brain stroke in females. This happens if you are using birth control pills for a longer duration.

History of Transient Ischemic Attacks:

As a neurosurgeon hospital in Vadodara, we find that many people feel the symptoms of a stroke but they ignore it or don’t take it seriously. Once you have a TIA, there are greater chances of suffering from brain stroke in future.

High RBC Count:

High levels of red blood cells in the blood can make the blood thick. As a result it is not able to flow freely in your arteries. This increases the risk of clots and a stroke.

High Cholesterol:

High cholesterol, LDL leads to a buildup of plaque in the arteries. This causes the arteries to thicken and hamper the blood flow to the brain. Irregular flow of the brain can lead to brain stroke.

Atrial Fibrillation:

Atrial fibrillation refers to irregular heart rhythm. Due to this, there is a strong possibility that blood collects in the upper chambers of the heart and forms clots. If the blood clots in the heart area move towards the brain then it can cause brain stroke.

Cardiac Structural Abnormalities:

According to NCBI, cardiac structural abnormalities can result in a brain stroke.

Lifestyle Factors That Lead To A Brain Stroke Are As Under

Smoking:

Whenever you smoke, carbon monoxide and nicotine enter your bloodstream. This causes low oxygen in the blood and makes our hearts beat faster to pump blood. This in turn raises your blood pressure and increases the risk of haemorrhage stroke.

As a neurosurgeon hospital in Vadodara, we urge our patients to quit smoking at the earliest to avoid the risk of many diseases.

Sedentary Lifestyle:

Having a sedentary lifestyle creates other health problems such as problems related to heart, diabetes and many more. This can in turn increase the possibility of a brain stroke.

Obesity:

Obesity is a root cause of many diseases and increases the risk of a brain stroke.

Alcohol Consumption:

Alcohol consumption can increase blood pressure. High blood pressure is a leading cause of haemorrhage brain stroke.

Uncontrollable Risk Factors For Stroke

Old age:

As a neurosurgical hospital in Vadodara, we’ve observed that once your age reaches 55, you are more prone to a stroke.

Gender:

Women are more prone to brain stroke. According to NCBI, women have greater effects of stroke on their bodies.

History of Strokes:

If you have suffered a stroke previously then it makes you more vulnerable to future strokes. The risk considerably increases.

Heredity:

If you have a family history of brain stroke then you are at a higher risk of brain stroke.

Diet Tips:

In case you have suffered a stroke earlier then you need to be extra cautious about the diet. Here are a few tips from us that can help you to recover fast from a brain stroke.

For a detailed breakthrough diet, either visit our neurosurgical hospital in Vadodara

Eat more plant-based foods and lots of veggies

Avoid processed foods

Avoid adding extra salt to your diet, instead of that add herbs

Include more legumes in your daily diet

Avoid packed food

Avoid saturated fats

You can substitute the following instead of saturated fats.

Saturated Fat Substitutions

 

INSTEAD OF

USE

Instead of butter

Choose Light or diet margarine

Instead of regular cheese

Choose low-fat or nonfat cheese

Instead of whole milk

Use skim milk or milk with 1% fat

Instead of regular ice cream

Select nonfat yogurt

Instead of whole egg

Choose egg whites

Treatment and Diagnosis

How Are Brain Strokes Diagnosed?

As the best neurosurgeon in vadodara, we examine the patient to watch out for the symptoms and then do further investigations as required. The preliminary investigations that we conduct include measuring the blood pressure and checking the heartbeats and pulse, and blood tests to measure vital parameters.

CT Scan:

A CT Scan builds a three-dimensional picture of your brain and helps us to locate the problem. Sometimes we need to inject a contrast dye to get better images. Through CT scan we can detect the type of stroke.

MRI:

In cases where we are not clear about the damage, we prefer MRIs. MRI shows images in greater detail. We typically use it in the case of people who have recovered from a TIA attack. Through MRI we can view the smaller areas of the brain and locate the affected part with ease.

Blood Tests:

Complete blood count reveals platelets and electrolyte levels. This helps us to understand how fast the blood clots and how well, the kidneys are functioning.

Swallow tests:

A person who has suffered from a TIA cannot swallow properly. We conduct tests where patients are asked to swallow the liquid. The ease with which a patient can swallow can indicate a lot about the intensity of the stroke.

Carotid Ultrasound:

In the case of Carotid ultrasound a small probe is inserted into arteries and high-frequency sound waves are passed. Through this, we can know about blockages in the neck arteries that lead to the brain.

Echocardiography:

It can be used to check the clot formation in the heart.

Angiograms of the head and neck:

For this test, we inject a dye into the patient’s arm and later look out for the images that show blockages.

What Are The Treatments For A Brain Stroke?

In treating a brain stroke, time is of crucial importance. Depending on the type of stroke, the treatment of stroke differs. Broadly as a neurology hospital in Vadodara, we try to understand whether the stroke is due to a blood clot (Ischemic brain stroke) or due to bleeding (haemorrhage stroke).

Treatment In Case Of Ischemic Brain Stroke:

In the case of an Ischemic attack, the brain stroke occurs due to a blood clot. In such cases, we give medicines and injections that can dissolve the clots. These medicines are and sometimes advised to be continued even after recovery, to prevent further strokes. This medicine has to be administered within 4.5 hours of the occurrence of stroke.

However, if a blood clot is present in the larger artery in the brain then it is surgically removed by performing Thrombectomy. In this method, a catheter is put into the groin and passed to the brain. Later the blood clot is sucked through the device.

Depending on the patient’s condition we recommend anticoagulants, aspirin, blood pressure medicines or stains. This helps to avoid the possibility of stroke in future.

Treatment In Case Of Haemorrhagic Stroke:

In the case of haemorrhagic stroke, we need to do surgery to remove the clot and stop bleeding. In medical terms, the surgery is referred to as ‘craniotomy’.

During this procedure, a portion of the skull is removed and then we remove the clots, repair the damaged blood vessel and later replace the broken skull with a metal plate.

But as a neurosurgeon hospital in Vadodara, we find this type of haemorrhage to be most risky. We recommend people take note of blood pressure, obesity, and heart-related issues to avoid such strokes.

Sometimes we observe that due to the stroke, cerebrospinal fluid builds up in the ventricles of the brain. Due to this, you can feel headaches, drowsiness, sickness, and loss of balance.

Technically this situation is called ‘hydrocephalus’. It can be treated by putting a tube in the brain and allowing the fluid to drain.

Treatments Available At Janvi Multispeciality Hospital For Haemorrhage:

Medications:

Alteplase, Anticoagulant, Statin, Antihypertensive drug and ACE inhibitor

Surgery:

Carotid endarterectomy  Surgical removal of plaque build-up in the carotid arteries, which are located in the neck.

Supportive care:

Cardiac monitoring involves monitoring heart rate and rhythm. Can be done in the hospital or at home.

Therapies:

Therapies for stroke include speech therapy, rehabilitation, occupational therapy, physical therapy and stroke rehabilitation

Way Forward

As the best neurosurgeon in Vadodara, we have tried to guide you about the symptoms, causes, risk factors and treatment options for brain stroke.

Always remember the acronym F.A.S.T for identifying a brain stroke. In case of an emergency never delay and approach a neurosurgical hospital fast. If possible, always carry the list of medicines that a patient is already taking. This helps us to treat you better.

Here are the last few tips from us that you should bear in mind when you bring a patient to the hospital

Carry the prescriptions or list of medicines that a patient is already taking

Notify the doctor about the kinds of allergies that the patient might have

Carry your mediclaim card

Don’t panic

Choose the best hospital with ICU and all facilities to deal with neurosurgical issues. Brain surgeries are more complex than routine surgeries.

We hope that our write-up will help you to deal with stroke in a better way. By eating healthy food and taking good care of our health we can try to prevent it. At least we can take care of the factors that are in our control.

For any kind of guidance or opinions on neurosurgical matters, you can approach our neurosurgical hospital in Vadodara. Our hospital is working 24*7 to serve you.

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