What is a stroke?
Stroke is a medical condition that occurs when blood flow to a part of the brain is disrupted, either due to a blockage in a blood vessel or bleeding in the brain.
What is a stroke?
A stroke occurs when the supply of blood to a part of the brain is disrupted or reduced, depriving the brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients. Within a few minutes, brain cells begin to die.
When to seek medical advice
Immediate action can reduce brain damage and keep potential complications to a minimum.
You must seek immediate medical advice at the first signs or symptoms of stroke, even if the symptoms seem to rise and fall in intensity or disappear altogether. Check for the following signs of stroke, even called FAST warning signs:
- Facial Dropping – Ask the person to smile. Is one side of their face drooping?
- Arm Weakness – Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm fall? Are they unable to raise one arm?
- Speech difficulties – Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Is their speech garbled or strange?
- Time – If any of the symptoms above occurs, time is of the essence.
If you notice any of these signs, call 112 (the European emergency number) or the local emergency number immediately, without waiting to see if the symptoms stop. The longer a stroke goes untreated, the greater the potential for brain damage and disability.
Stroke: risk factors.
Many factors may elevate stroke risk, and some may also increase the risk of a heart attack.
Potentially treatable stroke risk factors:
Identifying and managing the risk factors for stroke is essential in preventing this devastating condition. While some stroke risk factors, such as age, ethnicity, and gender, cannot be changed, there are several potentially treatable risk factors that individuals can address to reduce their risk of stroke. These include lifestyle factors such as being overweight or obese, lack of exercise, smoking, alcohol use, and drug use, as well as medical risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, diabetes, sleep apnea, cardiovascular disease, and family history. In addition, hormone therapy may also be a risk factor for stroke in some individuals.
- lifestyle (being overweight or obese, lack of exercise, smoking, alcohol use, drug use)
- medical risk (blood pressure, cholesterol level, diabetes, sleep apnea, cardiovascular disease, family history)
- Other risk factors:
- hormone therapy
It is important to watch out for the following signs and symptoms and to pay attention to when they begin. Their duration can have an impact on the choice of treatment.
What causes a stroke
A stroke can be caused by a blocked artery (ischemic stroke) or a leaking or burst blood vessel (hemorrhagic stroke).
Some individuals may experience only a temporary interruption of blood flow to the brain (transient ischemic attack, or TIA), which does not cause permanent damage.
Occasionally a stroke can cause temporary or permanent disability, depending on how long the brain remains blood-deprived and which brain area has been affected.
The treatment effectiveness for these post-stroke complications varies from person to person.
Disability after a stroke.
The type and degree of disability after a stroke depend on the brain area that has been damaged.
Generally, strokes can cause five main types of disability:
- paralysis or problems controlling movement
- sensory disturbances, including pain
- problems using or understanding language
- problems with thinking and memory
- emotional disturbances
Knowing the stroke risk factors, following your physician’s advice, and adopting a healthy lifestyle are the prevention foundation, even for those who have already suffered a stroke or a transient ischemic attack (TIA).
Many strokes prevention advice is the same as those for heart disease.
Every year in the world, around 18,000,000 people experience a stroke. Roughly two-thirds of these require stroke rehabilitation to become as independent as possible and achieve an improved quality of life.
Although rehabilitation cannot “cure” the stroke consequences because it cannot repair damage to the brain, it can help individuals to improve their life after a stroke.
What is post-stroke rehabilitation?
Rehabilitation helps to recover abilities lost due to damage to a part of the brain, such as coordination and leg movement.
Rehabilitation also teaches new ways of performing tasks to bypass or compensate for residual disabilities, for example, learning to take a bath or dress oneself with only one hand or to communicate effectively when language skills have been affected.
Experts agree that any stroke rehab plan’s essential component is a constant, well-focused, and direct practice, which is the same used when learning a new skill.
Nurses and rehabilitation therapists help patients to perform increasingly complex actions, like bathing themselves, dressing, and using the bathroom; they encourage patients to use the limbs affected by the stroke while performing those tasks.
Stroke recovery plans aimed at maintaining and refining skills can require the assistance of specialists for months or years after the stroke itself.
When does post-stroke rehabilitation begin?
Rehabilitation treatment begins in the hospital in intensive care once the patient’s overall condition has stabilized, often within 24-48 hours after the stroke event. However, this varies significantly from patient to patient.
The first step involves encouraging independent movement because many individuals are paralyzed or severely weakened. For examples, patients should change position frequently when lying in bed and commit to passive (the therapist actively helps the patient to move a limb repeatedly) or active exercises (performed by the patient without physical assistance) to strengthen the limbs affected by the stroke.
The most extensive stroke rehabilitation study, recently conducted in the United States, compared two typical techniques for helping stroke patients to improve their walking: training on a treadmill or working on strength and balance exercises at home with a physical therapist. Both equally enhanced the patient’s walking ability to one year after stroke.
The study showed that 52% of participants had significant improvements in walking abilities, everyday activities, and quality of life, regardless of the impairments’ severity or whether they began training 2 or 6 months after the stroke.
Where can a patient go for post-stroke rehabilitation?
Upon discharge from the hospital, most patients return home, but some move into medical facilities such as those listed below.
Gondola AMPS therapy is a promising treatment option for stroke patients as it has been shown to effectively treat motor symptoms associated with neurological disorders such as stroke. The therapy is non-invasive and involves pressure stimulation of specific target areas on both feet, which enhances the connectivity between the brain and the body. It is a convenient therapy that can be performed comfortably and independently at home using the Gondola Home device. The therapy is easy to use and quick, lasting only two minutes per session. Patients need only insert their feet into the device, press a button, and wait for the therapy to be completed. With its non-invasive and painless nature, Gondola AMPS therapy can provide a convenient and accessible solution for stroke patients looking to improve their motor function and overall well-being.
Post-stroke rehabilitation specialists.
Stroke recovery could involve many specialists, such as physicians, rehabilitation nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, educators, speech and language therapists, and psychotherapists.