Saturday, December 21, 2013

Stroke Risk Factors, Effects of a Stroke

Stroke Risk Factors
Rare up to age 55, than risk increases sharply with age (doubling with each decade). More common in men but women more likely to die from them. Rates highest among blacks and lowest among Asians. Family history, high blood pressure, cigarette smoking, heart disease, diabetes, and their risk factors such as obesity and physical inactivity. High red blood cell count (making the blood thicker and likelier to clot). Mini-strokes – transient ischemic attacks (TIA) TIAs may occur one or more times before a stroke.

Effects of a Stroke

Some motor, sensory, cognitive, or speech impairment usually occurs. Limitations may be permanent but lessen in severity over time. Younger patients recover better than older. Impairments caused by hemorrhages more easily overcome than those caused by infarctions. Motor impairments often due to paralysis on one side of the body (side opposite to brain damage). After about 6 weeks of rehab about 50% of patients can perform independently (many with cane or walker). Language, learning, memory, and perception problems depend on location of the injury.  Left-hemisphere damage more commonly associated with language problems called aphasia. Receptive aphasia – difficulty understanding verbal information. Expressive aphasia – difficulty producing and using language. Damage to right side of brain often associated with difficulties in visual processing and emotions. The difficulty with emotions can be either managing their own emotions or understanding those of others.

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