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Recognizing a stroke in good time can save lives
As a rule, it comes suddenly and with life-threatening effects: the stroke. In Germany alone, according to the latest study, around 260,000 people suffer a so-called stroke every year, or apoplex in technical terms. "This acute circulatory disorder of the brain causes important cells to die, so that those affected often suffer permanent damage and even die in the worst case," explains Dr. med. Andree Boldt, radiology specialist at radprax Solingen. In order to counteract this course of the disease as quickly as possible, a quick and professional diagnosis is crucial. The expert explains what the first signs of the affected person should be and what the treatment steps look like.
Symptoms: Take the herald of stroke seriously
Depending on the affected brain area and the severity of the stroke, this can cause very different symptoms. "While the corner of the mouth of some of those affected is slightly sagging, others experience speech disorders or there are semi-sided paralysis and numbness in the arms or legs," the expert describes. In addition, massive headaches and sudden dizziness are among the possible signs.
The main cause of these complaints are both clogged blood vessels due to a clot and vascular calcification, known among experts as arteriosclerosis. As a result, some areas of the brain can either temporarily or permanently no longer perform their tasks. And in the event that these symptoms disappear after a short time, those affected should seek medical treatment immediately. Because often these are so-called "heralds", which indicate a later onset stroke.
Stroke Unit: special station for stroke patients
In order to preserve the patient's life and protect important brain functions, every second counts in an apoplexy. Stroke units in particular, i.e. hospital departments specializing in stroke, have all the necessary specialists and diagnostic methods to provide patients with the necessary medical measures.
“Using imaging techniques such as computer tomography, CT for short, and magnetic resonance imaging, MRI for short, doctors can differentiate, for example, whether the stroke was caused by bleeding or a vascular occlusion. In addition, experts recognize which parts of the brain are affected and how severe the damage is, ”explains the specialist.
Rehabilitation: the way back to everyday life
Acute treatment initially consists of restoring the blood and oxygen supply to the brain as quickly as possible. For example, in the event of a cerebral infarction due to a blood clot, clot-releasing drugs are used. Further measures depend on the type of stroke and any complications. Crucial for successful therapy is also the timely start of appropriate treatment steps. These include, for example, physiotherapy and occupational therapy as well as speech therapy.
“These programs help to improve the symptoms of paralysis or poor posture, or to resolve speech disorders through certain exercises,” says Dr. Boldt and emphasizes further: "Because targeted measures allow healthy parts of the brain to take over the function of the sick, so that those affected can cope with everyday life as independently as possible." Even if an apoplexy means a violent cut in life, the brain has good regeneration abilities, which can be achieved through a combination of different therapies can be strengthened.
FAST rapid stroke test
The abbreviation stands for Face, Arms, Speech and Time
Q: Ask them to smile.
A: Affected person should raise both arms at the same time.
S: Let the person concerned repeat a simple sentence.
T: If the person concerned has problems with these tasks, every minute counts. Call 112 immediately and describe the symptoms!