Prevention is the best cure for stroke
May is National Stroke Awareness Month
Director of Clinical Research, Dr. Robert Benton explains how a stroke event is similar to a heart attack. “Essentially for both of them you have an instance where you’re losing blood flow to a part of the brain or the heart. That is the common finding in both of them. In the heart, usually, this is caused by a cholesterol plaque that has become inflamed, ruptures because you are smoking, or because you have high blood pressure, and there’s a blood clot that forms and blocks blood flow to the heart. When the heart muscle doesn’t get blood, it dies. The brain is similar in that you can have plaque in your brain but the brain is also susceptible to other findings, that would be emboli that fly either from your neck, clotting breaking off from the arteries or the aorta, or one of the common causes of stroke called, atrial fibrillation (AFib).”
Many people with AFib are unaware of the five-times greater risk of stroke as a result of having AFib. The average person with atrial fibrillation, or AFib, is 5 times more likely to suffer a stroke than someone with a regular heartbeat. People with untreated atrial fibrillation may be at greater risk for stroke than people with normal heart rhythms because blood does not flow through the atria regularly, blood clots may form in the heart. If a blood clot escapes from the heart, it can travel through the bloodstream to the brain and cause a stroke.
There are two main kinds of stroke
The other kind of stroke is called a hemorrhagic stroke. It happens when a blood vessel leaks into your brain, or into the space around your brain. Hemorrhagic strokes are less common, in fact only 15 percent of all strokes are hemorrhagic, but they are responsible for about 40 percent of all stroke deaths.