Stroke

What is a Stroke?

Where there is disruption of blood supply to the brain, it affects its normal functions and causes a stroke. Gradually affecting the passageway for the brain arteries (blood vessels) carrying oxygen-rich blood to be blocked. If left untreated, there can be damage to the part of the brain connecting to those arteries. The symptoms vary according to the area and the size of the affected area of the brain. In a transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA), known as Mini Stroke, the symptoms can last up to 24 hours.

More commonly, there are 2 types of Strokes that includes:

- Ischaemic Strokes occur when the arteries supplying blood to the brain are blocked due to a build-up of cholesterol deposits, called plaques, in the walls of the arteries. These plaque build up can rupture and lead to forming more clots. It is possible that the clot can cause blockage flow to the brain.

- Hemorrhagic Strokes occur when there's a sudden rupture of arteries in the brain due to high blood pressure and a Brain aneurysm (balloon-like bulge in the wall of the artery).


Causes

Ischaemic Strokes occur when there is a blockage in the brain and the arteries are unable to supply oxygen normally to the brain. Because there is a gradual build-up of cholesterol waxy deposits, also known as plaques, on the walls of these arteries. These plaques cause the narrowing of the arteries, and they can also rupture at any time which can cause blood clot formation. As a health concern, this can lead to disrupting blood flow to the brain.

Haemorrhagic Strokes can be caused by a rupture of arteries in the brain from high blood pressure and a Brain Aneurysm (balloon-like bulge in the walls of the artery). Bleeding happens from the arteries in the brain itself.

There are different factors that affect the risk of suffering from a stroke. Smokers are more prone to getting high risk and gradual aging. process. Also, other conditions include high blood pressure, high cholesterol level and diabetes mellitus with a higher chance of getting a Stroke. Additionally, these risks are accompanied with certain difficulties in heart function that involves irregular heartbeat, recent heart attacks, and previous strokes or TIA.

Symptoms

Possibility of experiencing the following signs and symptoms:

- Speech impairment

- Difficulty in swallowing

- Loss of balance or coordination

- Loss of consciousness

- Memory loss or hard to focus

- Blurry or vision impairment

- Sudden severe dizziness

- Sudden severe headache

- Sudden weakness and/or numbness on one side of the body

Treatment

Your doctor will recommend the best treatment after thoroughly examining your condition which depends on the type of Stroke:

- Blood Thinners for example Aspirin to aid blood flow in Ischaemic Stroke patients and reduce the chances of suffering from a second stroke

- Carotid Endarterectomy Surgery to remove a narrowed neck artery in the brain to reduce risk the risk of stroke recurrence

- Medications and Dietary Change to manage blood pressure, cholesterol level and blood glucose level

- Rehabilitation Treatment to aid stroke patients in getting their normal routine back and to able to be independent through personalized physiotherapy and speech therapy programmes

- Surgery to treat Hemorrhagic Strokes

Our Specialists

Dr. Chris Chong
Specialty
Neurology
Internal Medicine
Location
Gleneagles Hospital Kota Kinabalu
Dr. Tan Wei Chean
Specialty
Neurosurgery
Spinal Surgery
Pain Management
Location
Gleneagles Hospital Kota Kinabalu
Datuk Dr. Pullivendhan Sellamuthu
Specialty
Neurosurgery
Spinal Surgery
Location
Gleneagles Hospital Kota Kinabalu

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