Everyone should be aware of the symptoms of stroke. Stroke is a neurological emergency.
To help the public understand the warning signs of a stroke or a transient ischemic attach (TIA, or pre-stroke), an acronym was developed by health care providers in Kentucky, as outlined in an article and guidelines published in the medical journal Stroke, Jan 2017.
The B.E.F.A.S.T acronym outlined in the stroke journal helps us identify some of the common symptoms of stroke, which are:
- Balance problems or leg weakness
- Eye or vision changes
- Face weakness
- Arm weakness
- Speech changes
The most important factor to remember is that if you have any of the symptoms above, you should get to an emergency room or call for help immediately, so that no time is lost when your brain tissue is at risk.
How is the nervous system at risk with stroke?
Nervous system injury, which most commonly involves the brain, happens when there is a lack of blood flow to our many arms vessels in the brain. The lack of blood and oxygen can cause partially reversible and or irreversible injury to nervous system structures such as :
- the brain
- the retina, or nerve layer of the eye
- the spinal cord.
If the lack of blood flow causes problems with balance, paralysis, sensory loss, speech or cognitive changes that are transient (usually less than a day), you may have suffered from a transient ischemic attack.
A study called an MRI is a gold standard radiology study that shows if and how the brain and nerves are damaged. If this is the case, it is very important to understand how to heal the brain injury which has occurred.
Women are more likely to have strokes than men.
Some of the factors that increase a women’s risk of stroke include pregnancy, which increases possible clots traveling from legs to the vessels that supply the nervosa system. Pregnancy itself promotes a clotting state.
Hypertension is common in pregnancy, as well as blood vessel vasoconstriction. External hormones that are often used in certain conditions for women can also increase risk of stroke.
What you can do to help prevent stroke?
It is important to follow up with your primary care provider to track that status of certain conditions that can increase the risk of stroke:
- Sedentary Lifestyle
- Prior Storke
- Family History of Stroke
If you have suffered form a stroke, it can be challenging to learn to live and function again. If this is the case, it is of the utmost importance to understand what you can do to optimize your function and decrease present and future disability. Your Brain Doctor can help you with important information and guidance when you or loved one has suffered from a stroke.