Stroke and ABI
Stroke is Australia's second single greatest killer after coronary hear disease and a leading cause of disability.
Australians suffer more than 60,000 new and recurrent strokes a year - one stroke every 10 minutes.
Types of Stroke
Embolism is where an object, most commonly a blood clot, blocks an artery. These clots can occur in other parts of the body then break up and travel to the brain where they lodge in the brain's smaller blood vessels.
Thrombosis is where there is a gradual closure of a blood vessel. In a stroke, this is most commonly fatty lipids called plaques building up on the walls of blood vessels and restricting blood flow. As a result symptoms usually develop slowly but may be rapid in some cases.
Haemorrhage is sever bleeding. There are two kinds that can cause a stroke. An intracerebral haemorrhage is caused by ruptured artery leaking blood directly into the brain. A subarachnoid haemorrhage occurs on the surface of the brain and the blood fills the space around the brain and creates pressure.
Effects of stroke
The after effects of a stroke vary widely for each stroke victim as different parts of the brain are responsible for thoughts processes, comprehension, movement and our senses. The extent of blood shortage also determines the effect of the stroke. A stroke may result in paralysis, loss of feeling, communication difficulties, visual problems and many other issues depending on which part of the brain is affected.
Surgery, drugs, acute hospital care and rehabilitation are all accepted stroke treatments depending on the type of stroke.
An example of surgery is a carotid endarterectomy to remove plaque if a neck artery is blocked. Aspirin is a common drug used for thinning the blood. Other medications aim to dissolve clots that lead to stroke. New techniques continue to arise, such as cerebral angioplasty where balloons, stents and coils are used to dilate small intracranial arteries.
Generally speaking the brain does not regenerate if brain tissue dies after an embolism or thrombosis. the brain may regain some function after the pressure caused by the bleeding (hemorrhage) has decreased.
Recovery after a stroke depends on a number of factors including the:
Recovery usually involves a lot of relearning of activities such as walking and talking. This learning can be complicated by the fact that many people have trouble concentrating after a stroke.
Information courtesy of Synapse
Click on the Synapse logo to read more information about Stroke & ABI
Click on the National Stroke Foundation's logo to go to their web site
The National Stroke Foundation's Hobart office share our premises at 26-32 Wellington Street North Hobart 7000
Phone: 03 6231 4424
Fax: 03 6234 3442
The National Stroke Foundation are the only national not-for-profit organisation dedicated exclusively to stroke.
They provide advice to governments, health professionals, patients and stroke survivors about stroke.
NATIONAL STROKE WEEK 2012 - 10-16 September
The week aims to raise awareness of the incidence, risk and signs of stroke. The Stroke Foundation says that one in six people will have a stroke during their lifetime.
or call 1800 STROKE (1800 787 653)