What is Stroke?

A stroke is a brain attack. Blood flow to the brain is interrupted and this may cause permanent damage to the brain. If you suspect a stroke, call 911. Time is brain! Some clot-dissolving agents that make a big difference can only be administered within 4 1/2 hours of stroke.

Stroke Facts

Here are some facts about stroke:

  • One occurs every 45 seconds.
  • It is the third leading cause of death and a leading cause of long-term disability.
  • About 750,000 Americans will have a stroke this year and 168,000 of them will die.
  • The estimated direct and indirect cost of stroke in 2004 was $53.6 billion.
  • African Americans' risk for stroke is up to four times higher than non-Hispanic whites.

Stroke Warning Signs and Symptoms

  • Problems with speaking, reading or writing.
  • Difficulty with coordination and control in the arms or legs.
  • Weakness or complete paralysis of one half of the body.
  • Loss of sensation on one half of the body.
  • Loss of a portion or all of your vision.
  • Dizziness or loss of balance.
  • Severe headaches without any obvious cause.

Stroke Prevention

Your doctor can guide you through the necessary steps to keep you healthy and stroke free. Keep your blood pressure as normal as possible. Your doctor will decide how low based on your health circumstances. You must continue to see your doctor regularly in order to stay healthy. Cholesterol levels will need to be monitored closely by your doctor to prevent clogging of the arteries. Keep your medical appointments to avoid sudden health emergencies.

Medications for Stroke

  • Anti-thrombotics like aspirin and Plavix prevent formation of platelet plaques that stick to arteries.
  • Cholesterol-reducing drugs like Zocor, Lipitor, and Crestor reduce cholesterol plaques that clog the arteries.
  • Antihypertensives reduce blood pressure.