Neurological Treatment .


What is brain stroke ??

A stroke occurs whenever the blood supply to a part of brain is reduced. this is called Ischemic stroke. due to this loss of blood supply to a part of brain, that region of the brain stops functioning. Thus the patient suffering from it gets various neurodeficits.

Sometimes a blood vessels ruptures inside the brain . this leads to neurodeficits and brain dysfunction . this is called hemorrhagic stroke.

In this article we will restrict ourselves to the more common ISCHEMIC STROKE.

What are the signs and symptoms of brain stroke ??
Various types of dysfunctions can occur in brain resulting in paralysis of one side of the body or paraysis of one or both the limbs on one side of the body

Sometimes symptoms other than paralysis also occur like
1. Seizures
2. Loss of consciousness
3. Vomiting
4. Slurring of speech or not able to speak at all
5. Diminution of vision or blindness
6. Altered sensorium
7. Loss of cognitive functions of brain
8. Vertigo etc

What are the causes of ischemic stroke ??
Brain stroke occurs due to blockage of blood vessels leading to loss of blood supply to a part of brain . this blockage occurs due to slow process called atherosclerosis.

This can be a small vessel disease or a large vessel disease.

What are the various factors that can lead to increase in the chances of stroke ??
Atherosclerosis is a natural and ongoing process . Various factors increase the rate of process . tese include

  1. Smoking
  2. Alcohol
  3. Oil and fat intake
  4. Obesity
  5. Raised blood sugar levels
  6.  Hypertension
  7. Mental stress   type A personaility

How do we recognise stroke ??
It is very important to recognise  brain stroke at the earliest so that proper treatment can be started at the earliest . it includes

  1. FACE  deviation of face to one side during speech is one of the earliest sign of brain stroke
  2. ARM      weakness or paralysis of one or both the limbs of one side of the body
  3. SPEECH   slurring of speech 
  4. TIME         if  any of the above symptoms occur we should rush to a nearest hospital with a neuro facilities so that appropriate treatment can be started . Ideally one should reach hospital within the golden period of 4 hrs from the start of the symptoms .

How can a stroke be diagnosed ??
The first test that is done in a patient with suspected stroke is a CT scan Head . this is done to rule out bleeding inside the brain .

The investigation of choice to diagnose a brain stroke is MRI Brain . it clearly delineates the are of the brain  with reduced blood supply , the size , the area of the brain involved and other details

What is the treatment of brain stroke ??
A stroke is treated with medicines .  depending upon the severity and duration of symptoms it can be treated on a outpatient basis or after hospitalization . If the patient is serious he may be admitted to the ICU of the hospital.

If the patient reaches hospital within the golden period i.e. within 4 hrs , the neurologist will decide on the need for thrombolyis .

If severe symptoms sometimes patient may be put on ventilator.
If the swelling in the brain increase it may be necessary to do surgery or operation of the brain to decrease the mass effect ..

What is the time required for recovery of the patient ??
It all depends upon the severity of the symptoms and the area of the brain involved .
After the emergency management in the hospital ends , it may sometimes takes weeks or up to 4-5 months for full recovery of the paralysis .

Sometimes a patient may not recover fully even after complete treatment.

How can we prevent stroke ??
Primary Prevention   following a healthy lifestyle is first and foremost requirement. cessation of smoking , alcohol is very important .

Proper treatment of raised blood pressure and diabetes is also necessary

Following a diet plan , avoiding weight gain and regular exercises are also necessary

Secondary prevention all the above mentioned measures are necessary.

It is also important to take blood thinning medicines for lifelong to prevent further attacks of brain stroke after recovery.