A stroke, which is also known as cerebral vascular disease, is a disorder that can affect, either temporarily or permanently, the functioning of our brain and can be caused by a variety of circulatory disorders.
As far as the numbers are concerned, ischaemic strokes account for 80% of diagnoses, with an estimated incidence of between 150 and 200 cases per 100,000 inhabitants per year.
Perhaps what differentiates this pathology from many others is the importance of acting urgently from the first moment in which we detect any minor symptom.
We must bear in mind that ischaemia (cell stress caused by the lack of blood in the brain) can take a few hours to develop, so medical teams can have what we call “a therapeutic window”, which means they can deal with the treatment of strokes with greater guarantees.
Why do ischaemic strokes occur?
In the majority of the cases, they occur because the blood flow fails to reach a part of our brain as a result of different reasons:
– The formation of a clot in the cerebral blood vessels (known as thrombus)
– The decrease in the habitual blood flow
– The arrival of an embolus from the heart to the brain (a solid, liquid or gaseous mass that forms in the blood vessels and from there the blood is carried to different organs)
Typology of ischaemic strokes
There are mainly two types of ischaemic strokes:
This occurs as a result of atherosclerosis, accumulation of deposits in the arteries, which obstructs the blood vessel and subsequently causes the formation of a thrombus.
The thrombus appears in the chambers of the heart and, as it becomes detached an embolism is released into the brain through the bloodstream.
Recognising the risk factors
Even though we are well aware of the risk factors of having a stroke, sometimes we as patients do not realise how important a healthy lifestyle can prove to be when dealing with diseases like this one. Therefore, we must remember that we have a higher risk of experiencing a stroke if some of the following appear in our medical history:
– High blood pressure
– Consumption of alcohol or tobacco
Symptoms and urgent response
We must be alert and react quickly if we encounter any of the following symptoms:
– Loss of strength in one half of our body
– Difficulty speaking normally
– Extremely intense headache
– Tingling on one side of our body
– Immediate loss of vision in one eye
In this sense, the first 6 hours are of paramount importance, as the patient should get to a hospital within this period of time in order to avoid or minimise brain damage.
As you already know, at Best Doctors we are committed to your health, always offering useful and practical information that allows you to take control of your diagnosis and treatments of diseases such as strokes which always require an urgent response.