Important things you should know about stroke

stroke

o Improve your diet: Avoid excess fat, salt, and alcohol

o Exercise

o Manage diabetes

o Seek immediate medical attention for warning signs

B. How can medicine prevent it? Some people are at risk for stroke because of known health factors, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. Also, having had a stroke puts you at greater risk of another attack. Fortunately for people in these situations, there are medical treatments that can help prevent stroke:

1) Antiplatelets and anticoagulants. Doctors can prescribe antiplatelet medications (such as aspirin) and anticoagulants (such as warfarin) to reduce the blood’s ability to form clots.

2) Angioplasty and stents To remove blockages, doctors may thread a balloon angioplasty through a major vessel in the leg or arm to reach the affected vessel. A steel screen called a “stent” is sometimes inserted in a vessel to expand its diameter and improve blood flow.

3) Carotid endarterectomy In this surgical procedure, a blockage is removed from the carotid artery in the neck.

III. WHAT ARE SOME TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR STROKE?

Once the doctor completes the diagnostic tests, the treatment is chosen. For all stroke patients, the aim is to prevent further brain damage. If the stroke is caused by blocked blood flow to the brain, treatment could include:

o t-PA (tissue plasminogen activator), a clot-busting drug that is injected within three hours of the start of a non-bleeding stroke

o Drugs that thin the blood, including anticoagulants (warfarin) and antiplatelet medications (aspirin or ticlopidine); a combination of aspirin and sustained release dipyridamole

o Surgery that opens the insides of narrowed neck blood vessels (carotid endarterectomy)

If bleeding causes the stroke, treatment could include:

o Drugs that maintain normal blood clotting

o Surgery to remove blood in the brain or decrease pressure on the brain

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