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Stroke is the loss of function in the related brain region as a result of blockage or rupture of one of the vessels supplying the brain. According to the World Health Organization, 15 million people in the world have a stroke. This means 1 stroke in 40 seconds or 2200 strokes per day. In our country, 130 thousand people have a stroke every year. It can cause permanent damage to body functions as well as death. It is the most common cause of death and labor loss in the adult population after heart disease and cancer in the world.
It may manifest in the form of vascular blockage or bleeding in the brain. Stroke often presents with vascular obstruction (85%) and brain hemorrhage occurs less (15%). In the region where the blood flow is interrupted in the brain, the death of brain cells starts because vital needs such as oxygen and glucose cannot be met and temporary or permanent losses occur in functions carried out by the region where the stroke occurs. As a result, that part of the brain loses its function and various symptoms occur in patients. Cells in the area where blood flow is cut off rapidly begin to die.
Stroke symptoms
Stroke occurs suddenly. Symptoms vary according to the affected area (brain, cerebellum, brain stem), severity of the injury, and the affected side (right, left).
• Sudden numbness and weakness in the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
• Sudden blur of consciousness, difficulty in speaking and understanding
• Sudden vision loss in one or both eyes or double vision
• Sudden and severe headache of unknown cause
• Sudden difficulty in walking, loss of balance and coordination, dizziness
Risk factors causing stroke
There are many risk factors for stroke, and most of them are preventable risk factors that a person can change. Despite the advances in treatment of acute ischemic stroke, the most effective approach to stroke is to combat risk factors.
Risk factors that cannot be changed:
• Age: The risk of stroke increases with age. The risk is doubled every 10 years after age 55.
• Gender: Stroke is more common in men than in women. However, it is more common in women between the ages of 35-44 and after the age of 85 compared to men.
• Race
• Family history / genetics
• Family history of stroke or transient ischemic attack
Risk factors that can be changed:
• Hypertension
• Cigarette
• Diabetes mellitus
• Cardiovascular diseases
• Asymptomatic carotid stenosis
• Atrial fibrillation
• Dyslipidemia
• Obesity
• Physical inactivity

What is Transient Ischemic Attack?
Transient ischemic attack is a condition in which the symptoms of stroke last for less than 24 hours, usually lasting from a few minutes to a few hours, and are completely resolved. Since the symptoms completely disappear, it is a great danger because it is ignored by patients and their relatives. In fact, the pioneer is a stimulating condition and, if no action is taken, it is often a precursor to a subsequent stroke.
What should be done to prevent stroke?
• Blood pressure, blood sugar and fats should be kept under control.
• Regular exercise and protect from stress.
• A healthy diet should be provided.
• Heart diseases should be treated, especially in patients with cardiac arrhythmia, should comply with blood thinning medications because the risk of stroke development is very high.
• Alcohol and cigarettes should not be used.
• If there is a vascular disease, it should be checked every year.
Treatment of Stroke
Stroke is an emergency that requires hospital admission and should be treated as soon as possible. In the acute phase, it is generally necessary to stay in hospital for a period of medical treatment and to stabilize vital functions. When the cerebral vessel becomes blocked, damage to the brain tissue begins to occur and the damage expands as long as it waits. Therefore, the sooner it is intervened, the less brain damage will occur. In patients who meet the appropriate criteria, the application of clotting therapy within the first 4.5 hours after symptoms may reduce post-stroke disability. In some patients, other coagulant therapies may be used.