A stroke or Stroke is an acute disease of the brain in which a sudden blockage or bleeding in the blood vessels of the brain usually causes a lack of oxygen supply. A stroke is an emergency that requires immediate medical attention.
Infogram on the anatomy and causes of cardiovascular diseases, such as Stroke. Click image to enlarge.
A strokerespectively Stroke is a serious malfunction and sudden disorder of the brain. Above all, the oxygen supply to the brain is interrupted. There are two main forms of stroke.
On the one hand, the oxygen supply can be interrupted by insufficient blood circulation in the brain (ischemia) and, on the other hand, direct bleeding in the brain (hemorrhagi) can also be responsible for a stroke. Due to the lack of oxygen, the brain cannot work normally and nerve cells die within ten to fifteen minutes.
Stroke is more common in the elderly. Most of those affected are over 70 years old. Most patients are mentally or physically disabled after the stroke as a result of the consequences of the stroke. The longer the time after a stroke until acute treatment, the greater the need for care of those affected.
The causes for one stroke are, as already mentioned, a defective cerebral blood flow (ischemia), which is usually caused by hardening of the arteries (arteriosclerosis) or by an embolism. Above all, the fat deposits that have accumulated in the blood vessels make the vessels narrower, so that less and less blood can flow through them. At some point there will come a point when too little or no blood reaches the brain and thus no more oxygen can be transported from the lungs to the brain. Risk patients are primarily with diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels.
Another cause of a stroke is the direct bleeding in the brain (hemorrhage), which leads to an embolism or blood clot. The blood clot (thrombus) coagulates in the blood vessels and the blood, in turn, cannot guarantee the transport of oxygen to the brain.
The last cause is the so-called cerebral haemorrhage (hemorrhagic infarction), which occurs in 1/4 of all strokes. Cerebral haemorrhage is caused by the tearing or rupture of blood vessels in the brain. Here too, patients with high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus and high cholesterol levels are particularly affected.
The symptoms of a stroke are very diverse. Sudden unilateral paralysis or loss of strength for which there is no other cause can indicate a stroke. The paralysis typically occurs in the arm and / or leg. People who have had a stroke may also feel numbness in their arms or legs and face.
Likewise, the corner of the mouth hanging down on one side is always a warning sign. Various visual disturbances can also occur during a stroke. Patients have blurred vision, a reduced field of vision, or double vision. In more severe cases, it can even lead to temporary blindness.
When the language center in the brain is affected by the oxygen deficit, patients speak indistinctly. You keep repeating the same words or syllables and / or taking long pauses while speaking. A complete loss of speech is also possible. In addition to these language disorders, disorders of the ability to express themselves can also occur.
Those affected can no longer name certain objects or express themselves absolutely meaningless. In addition to these symptoms, sudden changes in balance and dizziness and loss of consciousness can indicate a stroke. Sudden and unbearable headaches are another symptom of a stroke.
The course of the disease Stroke is largely dependent on the severity and damage caused by cerebral haemorrhage and blood clots.
If the stroke was discovered and treated in good time, serious complications can be avoided. It is therefore always advisable to call the emergency doctor in case of suspected risk patients in order to guarantee quick medical help.
Seen in this way, the course of the disease must be assessed individually by the extent of the stroke. The course can range from barely noticeable symptoms to absolute need for care and bed restraint.
Above all, the speech disorders and paralysis have a lasting effect on the further life of the person concerned. Most of the brain damage caused by the stroke is still irreversibly damaged today and cannot be cured.
A stroke can cause serious complications and even death. Usually severe motor impairments and functional disorders of the sensory organs arise due to the stroke. Visual problems, hearing loss and balance problems are typical. If the excretory organs are affected, incontinence, urination disorders, intestinal obstruction and other complications can occur.
In most cases, intellectual performance is also reduced - complications from forgetfulness to dementia are possible. As a result of being bedridden, pneumonia, pressure ulcers, urinary tract infections and spasticity can occur. Joint stiffness, muscle wasting and epilepsy can also occur. Finally, a stroke can cause aphasia. In stroke therapy, the drugs used can cause complications.
Blood thinning drugs rarely cause allergic reactions. Occasionally there is reddening of the skin, itching and burning. Pain relievers and anti-inflammatories are also not free from side effects and interactions. Typical are nausea and vomiting, skin reactions and rarely cardiovascular complaints as well as kidney or liver damage. If you have an acute stroke, you may experience infection or bleeding during surgery. Wound healing disorders and other complications can occur after the procedure.
Nowadays the risk of stroke is increasing. Many people get a stroke at a young age. The most important question is when the doctor should be consulted. First of all, it should be noted that the slightest sign of a stroke is already important and should not be ignored.Should signs that indicate this disease occur more often and restrict the person concerned in everyday life, a doctor should definitely be consulted.
But it is not always necessary to see a specialist. Often, symptoms that indicate a stroke can have completely different causes. The first thing to do is to visit the family doctor so that other diagnoses can be ruled out. If he is of the opinion that a specialist examination is advisable, he will issue a referral. The neurologist is the right person to contact if there are signs of a stroke. He ensures that certain examinations are initiated in order to make the correct diagnosis. So if symptoms occur frequently that could indicate a stroke, a specialist should be consulted immediately.
The treatment or therapy of stroke should be initiated as soon as possible. The longer the brain is without oxygen, the more nerve cells die and the brain can no longer be healed. If a stroke occurs, this must be reported to an emergency doctor immediately.
The treatment of a stroke therefore always aims to keep the damage caused by the lack of oxygen as low as possible. However, the therapy depends on the cause of the stroke. This is first determined by the emergency doctor and then in the hospital.
If a blood clot is the cause, drugs are given immediately to dissolve the blockage. The doctor will also try to rule out bleeding in the brain. Today this can be done with the help of computed tomography (CT). In the case of cerebral hemorrhages, neurosurgical intervention usually has to be carried out as soon as possible to stop the bleeding. In addition, possible bruises should be removed. In addition, all vital functions are monitored so that sudden death can be prevented.
The later long-term therapy for a stroke primarily includes the treatment of motor disorders such as speech disorders and paralysis. Above all, the rehabilitation is then in the foreground of the treatment in order to give the person concerned a dignified life back as far as possible.
stroke can be prevented. However, this must be done as early as possible and for a lifetime. This includes, above all, low-fat food, lots of exercise and sport, little stress, no smoking and excessive drinking of alcohol. Too much sweet food should also be avoided. Frequent medical examinations can also provide possible warnings in good time.
Good aftercare after a stroke makes a decisive contribution to regaining physical and mental abilities. Which measures are necessary and useful depends on the severity of the stroke and the impairment it causes. The acute treatment in the hospital should immediately be followed by rehabilitation in a specialist clinic: This can reduce the consequences of the stroke, while at the same time the patient learns to cope with everyday life with unavoidable permanent restrictions.
Physiotherapy is very important, in which the mobility and perception of the affected side of the body and thus the motor skills are improved. During occupational therapy, everyday activities such as dressing, eating or household chores are practiced. The patient is also trained in the use of aids with which he can cope better with his everyday life.
The aim of speech therapy is to reduce speech, speech and swallowing disorders and thereby restore the person's ability to communicate and eat independently as much as possible. Neuropsychological rehabilitation is advisable for memory disorders, attention deficits and for the emotional stabilization of the patient.
After the rehabilitation measure, blood pressure and blood values should be checked regularly by the family doctor and, if necessary, adjusted with medication; in many cases, further outpatient physical, occupational and speech therapy is useful. Effective aftercare also includes eliminating risk factors such as smoking or being overweight.
A stroke is a medical crisis in which an emergency doctor must be called in immediately. Those affected should seek medical help at the first sign. Self-help measures are only indicated during convalescence.
A stroke is often associated with brain damage that severely limits the person's ability to speak. In this case, patients should learn to speak again as soon as possible with the help of a speech therapist. Perseverance and patience are required here. Without the committed cooperation of the patient, there is hardly any improvement here. Motor skills are often impaired after a stroke. In this case, physiotherapeutic and occupational therapy measures help the patient to improve motor skills again and to be able to do everyday tasks himself.
Often the patients suffer very badly psychologically due to the physical impairment. This applies in particular if the previous job has to be given up as a result of the stroke. Patients usually cope better with this psychological trauma if they talk to other sufferers. There are now numerous self-help groups both locally and on the Internet. In larger cities there are even so-called stroke guides who help those affected to cope with the greatly changed life situation.