What is a stroke:
A stroke is a serious life-threatening medical condition that happens when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off or there is bleeding. Blood provides oxygen and nutrients to the brain to function properly. If the blood supply to the brain is restricted or even stopped, brain cells start to die. This usually leads to brain damage that can affect how the body works and may result in disability and in some cases death.
The effects of a stroke depend on where it takes place in the brain, and how big the damaged area is.
There are three types of stroke:
- An ischaemic stroke is caused when blood supply to the brain is blocked because of a blot clot. This is the most common type of stroke accounting for 85% of all cases.
- A haemorrhagic stroke is caused when a weakened blood vessel supplying blood to the brain bursts resulting in bleeding in or around the brain.
- A transient ischaemic attack (TIA) is also known as a mini-stroke. TIA is caused when blood supply to the brain is blocked temporarily. It can last a few minutes or persist up to 24 hours.
Treating a stroke:
Treatment depends on the type of stroke, where it takes place in the brain and what caused it. Strokes are usually treated with medicines that help to dissolve blood clots or chronic medication to prevent another stroke from happening again. In some cases, surgical procedures may be required to remove the clots in ischemic strokes or to reduce brain swelling and further bleeding in haemorrhagic strokes.
Recovering from a stroke:
All strokes are different. The effects of the stroke in some people can be minor and temporary, in others the effects can be more serious and may lead to severe disability and even death. The chances for a good recovery depend on how quick treatment is administrated.
Stroke rehabilitation is a complex intervention that helps patients who are recovering from stroke to regain strength, mobility, functioning and well-being, and re-learn important life-skills
- Exercise rehabilitation and physiotherapy
- Nutrition programme
- Psychology and counselling service
- Massage therapy
- Laser therapy
- Ultrasound therapy
- Heat therapy
- Transcranial magnetic stimulation