What is Stroke?
WHAT IS A STROKE?
All tissues in our body need oxygen and nutrients to maintain their normal functions. These vital substances are transported through the blood. Oxygenated blood (clean blood) in the lungs is delivered to the farthest points of our body through our arteries, thanks to the pump function of our heart. Our brain makes up about 2% of our body weight, but metabolically it is one of the most active organs of our body. About 15-17% of the blood pumped from the heart goes to the brain.
Stroke, or as it is commonly known, is the inability of a part of the brain tissue to perform its normal functions due to bleeding or vascular occlusion. About 17 million people worldwide have a stroke each year, and about 6 million people die because of it. Stroke is the second most common cause of death after heart disease. 5 million people around the world continue their lives with permanent sequelae of stroke.
WHAT CAUSES A STROKE?
Deprived of adequate oxygen and nutrients, brain cells cannot perform their normal functions, and as this period continues, brain cells begin to die. The brain is the main command center of our body. Our mobility, speech, vision, hearing and all our cognitive activities (perceiving the environment, thinking, remembering, reading, writing etc.) are controlled by different parts of this main command center. A problem in the main command center causes the affected partition to be unable to perform its normal functions. This leads to a stroke picture in the patient. 20% of strokes occur due to bleeding (stroke due to cerebral hemorrhage). 80% of strokes occur due to a blood supply disorder in the brain due to a clot-induced blockage (ischemic stroke). The point to be noted here is: The right hemisphere of the brain coordinates the movements of the left side of the body, and the left hemisphere coordinates the movements of the right side of the body. For this reason, the damaged side of the brain and the side of the stroke are opposite. Vision problems are seen on the side of the brain where the damage is done.
WHAT COMPLAINTS OCCUR IN A PATIENT WHO DEVELOPS A stroke?
Complaints are seen in the patient depending on which center of the brain the problem causing the stroke is. These sudden-onset complaints are briefly: numbness and weakness in the arm or leg (arm/leg stiffness, loss of strength, loss of sensation), Facial deformity (drooping of the mouth and eyes on one side of the face), Speech disorders (non-rotation of the tongue, slurred speech or inability to speak at all) , Unilateral or bilateral vision loss, Swallowing disorder, Balance and coordination disorder (dizziness and inability to balance), Memory loss, Disturbances in cognitive activities (thinking, reasoning, perception disorder), Reading and writing disorder, Severe headache (vomiting) , dizziness may accompany) Urinary incontinence can be listed as. Stroke is a condition that needs urgent intervention. For this reason, when you come across a patient who you suspect is having a stroke, immediately call the "112 EMERGENCY CALL CENTER" and seek help.
WHAT IS TEMPORARY STROKE, WHAT IS PERMANENT STROKE?
I. Transient Stroke (Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA), minor stroke): The short and temporary course of brain dysfunction is called transient stroke, transient ischemic attack (TIA) or minor stroke. The patient's complaints are similar to a stroke, but are usually of very short duration. It can last less than 5 minutes and often goes away completely in less than 24 hours. It occurs due to a temporary blood supply disorder (ischemia) in the brain tissue, no permanent tissue damage or infarction (tissue necrosis) is observed in the brain. Often this condition is caused by a clot that causes a short-term interruption in blood flow to an area of the brain. After the clot dissolves, the patient returns to normal completely. ii. Permanent stroke (permanent paralysis): Defined as neurological damage in which the symptoms last longer than 24 hours or lead to death in the first 24 hours. It is a sudden, rapid and progressive stroke in the patient due to permanent tissue damage (infarct) that develops due to the long-term interruption of the blood flow of a part of the brain.
SHOULD I BE FEAR IF THE TEMPORARY STROKE IS TAKING SHORT AND DISCOVERING IT COMPLETELY?
Although the temporary stroke attack disappears in a short time and does not cause permanent sequelae in the patient, it is actually a "WARNING STROKE" 10-20% of patients who have a temporary stroke for the first time have a permanent stroke in the following 3 months. Permanent stroke occurs in nearly half of these patients within 1-2 days of the first transient stroke. Patients with a high risk of permanent stroke after a temporary stroke: Elderly patients, Patients with diabetes, Patients with temporary stroke complaints for more than 10 minutes, Patients with speech disorder and significant loss of strength during temporary stroke. For this reason, you should consult a neurologist after a temporary stroke.