A stroke occurs when a part of the brain is damaged due to a lack of blood supply. In minor strokes, the damage occurs only at a small portion of the brain. In major strokes, a large part of the brain is damaged. As a result of the damage, part of the body which is controlled by the damaged part of the brain will not function normally. Unlike other cells in the body, brain cells that die from stroke are unable to produce new cells.
When the brain cells are damaged, the following may be experienced:
You should seek urgent medical attention if you experience any of the above symptoms.
Lack of blood supply to a part of the brain is usually caused by a blockage of a blood vessel called ‘artery’ in the brain. Such a blockage results in an “ischaemic stroke”. In a less common situation, the lack of blood supply is due to an artery burst, resulting in a “haemorrhagic stroke”. A haemorrhagic stroke can be due to the rupture of a blood vessel which has ballooned because of weak walls (aneursym), or an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) which is an abnormality in the structure of the blood vessels.
The risks of getting a stroke are higher in people who fall under the below categories:
You can reduce your risk of getting stroke, by visiting a doctor at least once a year for a medical check-up if you are over the age of 40 and consume all prescribed medications.
If you experience signs and symptoms of stroke such as weakness or numbness of the limbs, you will need to undergo some tests which may include:
While you may not be able to control some risk factors, such as ageing, family health history, race and gender; you are able to lower your risk by:
Find out more information from:
Health Promotion Board
Singapore National Stroke Association
A stroke occurs when a part of the brain gets damaged by a lack of blood supply. The signs and symptoms of stroke depend on the size and location on the part of the brain that is damaged. A “transient ischaemic attack” (TIA) or “mini-stroke” is where the symptoms of stroke last a short time and disappear completely within 24 hours.
It is important to recognise the signs of stroke. The FAST test is an easy way to recognise and remember the most common signs of stroke. FAST stands for: Facial weakness – Can the person smile? Is his/her eye or mouth drooping? Arm weakness – Can the person raise both arms? Speech difficulty – Can the person speak clearly and understand what you say? Time to act fast – Go to the nearest Emergency Department IMMEDIATELY. Other symptoms are difficulty in swallowing, dizziness, severe headache (“worst headache ever had”), confusion and numbness.
Controllable risk factors:
Uncontrollable risk factors:
Recovering from a stroke is a natural process. Studies show that up to a third of stroke patients recover fully, one third recover partially, and the other one third do not recover at all. About 10% to 20% die soon after a stroke. While there are no medications to cure a stroke, a lot can be done to reduce the resulting disabilities and the chances of the stroke happening again. Recovery takes time – most occur in the first 3 to 6 months, but it may continue for up to 2 years or more. So, do not lose hope if the stroke seems to be very severe in the beginning. Persist with your rehabilitation under the supervision of your doctor.
Several steps can be taken to reduce your risk of stroke:
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