World Stroke Awareness Day
By Jose Alexander Junior. neurologist doctor | today’s edition 03/11/2022 – Article updated on 02/11/2022 at 17:18
On October 29, we celebrate World Stroke Day. A disease that is already considered the second leading cause of death in the world and the leading cause of disability in adults. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), every 6 seconds, regardless of age or gender, someone somewhere in the world dies from a stroke.
In Brazil, strokes are also the second leading cause of death, just behind heart attacks, according to data from the Ministry of Health, with 400,000 cases/year and more than 100,000 deaths. Every 5 minutes there is a death in our country caused by a stroke.
But what is a stroke? Stroke is a sudden change in cerebral blood flow, with impaired blood circulation in certain regions of the brain (made up of cerebrum, cerebellum and brainstem). This change in blood flow can be caused by two reasons, a blockage (ischemic stroke) or a leak in the arteries (hemorrhagic stroke).
Ischemic stroke is the most common, present in approximately 85% of cases, occurs when there is an obstruction or a sudden reduction in blood flow through blood vessels.
According to neurologist Dr. José Alexandre Junior, in general, the main symptoms of a stroke are weakness or tingling in the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body; mental confusion; impaired speech or understanding; change in vision, change in balance, coordination, dizziness or change in gait; sudden and intense headaches without apparent cause.
“In general, 90% of strokes are caused by modifiable factors, such as hypertension, obesity, smoking, among others,” says the neurologist doctor.
In stroke treatment, every minute can make a big difference. Dr. José Alexandre Jr warns that upon identifying any of the above symptoms, the right thing to do is to take the patient to the hospital as soon as possible, so that treatment can be started immediately, because the treatment that occurs in the first hours of the onset of symptoms, can reduce the sequelae and provide the patient with a faster recovery and a reduction in the deficits caused by the disease.