Stroke prevention

Head | Neurology | Stroke prevention (Disease)


A stroke happens when blood flow to a part of the brain stops. A stroke is sometimes called a brain attack.

Causes and Risk factors

If blood flow is stopped for longer than a few seconds, the brain cannot get blood and oxygen. Brain cells can die, causing permanent damage. There are two major types of stroke: ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke. Ischemic stroke occurs when a blood vessel that supplies blood to the brain is blocked by a blood clot. Ischemic strokes may be caused by clogged arteries. Fat, cholesterol, and other substances collect on the artery walls, forming a sticky substance called plaque. A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel in part of the brain becomes weak and bursts open, causing blood to leak into the brain. Some people have defects in the blood vessels of the brain that make this more likely.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Anyone can reduce the risk of myocardial infarction. Certain factors, called coronary risk factors, increase the risk of atherosclerosis. The process of atherosclerosis can be slowed by reducing these risk factors, reducing the risk of death or disability from acute myocardial infarction. High blood pressure, cholesterol level, smoking and physical inactivity are important risk factors for myocardial infarction. Obesity and diabetes can also increase the risk of stroke.

Most of these factors can, however, be modified. In some families there is a greater tendency of a heart attack. Its incidence also increases with age, and men more likely than women to suffer a heart attack at a lower age. These risk factors - heredity, age and sex - can not be changed. But if you change your lifestyle and reduce risk factors can be controlled, you will improve your chances of living a longer and healthier life. There are about a quarter of cases myocardial infarction patients presenting without chest pain. In these cases, infarction can occur only by shortness of breath or fainting, heart rhythm irregularities by other nonspecific symptoms. But these forms of stroke risk is lower than with this pain. Consequently, importance in the prevention of cardiovascular risk remains by adopting measures previous explanatory. Preventing heart attack is the best thing. It is never too late to change habits that may be damaging your heart. This means to make regular medical checkups, and to reduce coronary risk factors by the following:

(1) Stop smoking and avoid smoking environment

(2) Follow the correct treatment for hypertension and diabetes, where applicable.

(3) Keep a regular physical activity.

(4) Its good to know your blood cholesterol levels, and treatment that you follow.