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Overview and Facts

Stroke in individuals occur when the flow of blood to the brain is disrupted. The interruption can last for a few seconds of several minutes, causing damage to brain cells. This is caused by blockage or a burst in a blood vessel. Each year, 795,000 people suffer from a stroke, and 143,579 people die each year from strokes. Medical research shows that 75% of those who suffer from the condition are over the age of 65.

Signs and Symptoms

There are quite a few warning signs of a stroke. Blurred vision is one of the most common stroke symptoms that may occur in many. Loss of balance is also common, many with the condition have difficulty maintaining balance or walking, and some report dizziness. Incoherence is another one of the stroke symptoms individuals may experience, which frequently causes difficulty in speaking. Partial numbness to one side of the face or partial paralysis are also symptoms of strokes. One side of the body, an arm or otherwise, may become suddenly limp during the course of a stroke. A severe headache can appear suddenly. Vomiting and nausea are other stroke symptoms.
Family history of stroke can put some at an increased risk for the condition. Having high cholesterol, which is often caused by a poor diet, is another condition that can lead to heart disease. Women who take birth control can be susceptible to stroke, if on an unhealthy diet. Age is another one of the risk factors associated with stroke and heart disease. Obesity, smoking, diabetes, alcohol and drug use have all been linked to heart disease.


There are stroke tests that can be taken to evaluate the person’s risk for developing heart disease. Imaging tests can be performed on the brain to help doctors evaluate brain activity. The CT scan helps doctors determine whether or not a stroke has occurred. An MRI is another form of testing, and it is used to study how the brain processes bursts of energy transmitted to it. An angiography is another test that is performed on the brain, and this requires that patients be injected by radioactive substance. Once the substance is transmitted to the brain, imaging is made possible. Electrical activity in the brain of stroke patients can be studied using the EEG, where the results are documented on paper, or an evoked response test, where a flash is used to trigger activity. The blood flow may also be tested in a variety of ways using the Doppler ultrasound test, phonoangiography, and angiography. The Doppler ultrasound is used to detect soundwaves to detect blockages. The phonoangiography uses the microphone on the neck to study blood flow activity. The angiography requires the insertion of a catheter into a main artery in the leg area.


Prevention of stroke and heart disease requires certain changes in diet and habits. Exercise and an improved diet can reduce the chances of heart disease. Incorporating more fruits and vegetables into the diet can also help prevent heart disease as well. Monitoring the good and bad cholesterol levels can help detect the early onset of heart disease in patients. In most cases, stroke and heart attack in individuals can be prevented. Medication can also be prescribed to stroke patients for ongoing management of the condition.

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