Early detection key
to treating stroke

SHARJAH - A stroke happens when the blood supply to the brain is cut off. If the brain doesn’t get enough blood to provide the oxygen and nutrients it needs, brain cells will become damaged or die, explains Dr Saeid Taghizadeh, Neurologist, Zulekha Hospital, Sharjah.

By Staff Reporter

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Published: Sat 21 Apr 2012, 10:22 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 1:41 PM

It happens suddenly and can cause immediate loss of feeling and weakness, usually on one side of the body. A stroke can also affect speech, vision, memory and emotions. It is the third most common cause of death, and also the leading cause of severe disability.

A stroke is a medical emergency, so recognising the symptoms quickly and getting early treatment in hospital is important.

Common types of strokes: 1) Ischemic stroke, 2) Hemorrhagic stroke, 3) Transient ischemic attack (or ‘mini-stroke’). The symptoms of a stroke vary depending on the type of stroke and the part of the brain affected. Symptoms usually come on suddenly, within seconds or minutes.

A good way to recognise if someone has had a stroke is to use the ‘face–arm–speech–Time (abbreviated to FAST). This involves checking for any one of the three main symptoms of stroke – facial weakness, arm weakness or speech problems. “If you notice that someone has any one of these symptoms, you should call for emergency help fast,” he says.

Other common symptoms of stroke may include sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes, or blurred vision, confusion or difficulty understanding, loss of balance or coordination and severe headache.

Risk factors for stroke include: older age, smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, not being very active, overweight and obesity, diabetes, a family history of stroke or heart disease, abnormal heart beat, regular heavy alcohol drinking, using illegal drugs such as cocaine.

A number of tests are available in hospitals to try and find out what type of stroke and which part of the brain is affected. CT scan or MRI brain is important to find out if stroke happened because of a bleed or a blockage. Cardiovascular and blood test is important to find out what caused your stroke.

All types of stroke need to be managed in hospital, either in general ward or in a specialist stroke unit. Treatment depends on type of stroke.

Strokes can be prevented by stopping smoking, improving diet, reducing cholesterol levels and salt intake and increasing the amount of activity you do.


Dr Saeid Taghizadeh, Neurologist, Zulekha Hospital, Sharjah

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