Should You Get A “Stroke Check?”

Every stroke survivor has a certain level of potential recovery, but doctors say few reach that potential. There’s a lot of work and a lot of dedication to recover from a stroke but doctors point out, about half of all strokes could be prevented by simple and consistent precautionary measures. When it comes to the possibility of prevention, says one family doctor soldotna ak patients could reduce risks by testing for the detection of changes in the blood vessels supplying the brain, as well as eliminating any risk factors. 

Stroke is a brain disorder that persists for more than 24 hours due to a sudden lack of blood supply to a brain area. This means that the gray cells in a certain brain area are no longer getting enough oxygen and nutrients. They therefore are at risk of dying. Depending on how much and how long the blood flow is impaired, the affected brain area can either no longer fulfill its task temporarily or permanently. But doctors say there are ways to prevent a stroke before it occurs. 

Are You In The Risk Group? 

Risk factors for stroke are included: 

High blood pressure 
Age over 50 years 
Strokes in the family 

In the case of stroke, it usually comes first to gradual vasoconstriction and many small and often outwardly unnoticed circulatory disorders of the brain. Unfortunately, the constrictions of the brain-supplying blood vessels, which often increase over time, are not noticed by the person affected. The disease process progresses then without complaints or warning symptoms until it explodes. The identification and influencing of the risk factors, and the early detection of vascular changes and constrictions can help alert doctors to a problem. The more of these risk factors you have, or are already known, the more useful a stroke checklist will be for you. 

What Is A Stroke Check? 

In addition to a complete basic neurological examination, and with the help of an angiography, the arteries supplying the brain are checked for the presence of constrictions. If such constrictions are detected in you, your stroke risk may be significantly reduced by the preventive use of blood-thinning medications or surgery to expand your veins. 

Computed Tomography 

In most cases, after the initial examination, a computed tomography (CT Scan) of the head is performed first. This computed tomography provides images of the brain and its blood vessels. It makes it possible to differentiate between a circulatory disorder (about 80% of strokes), a brain hemorrhage (about 15% of strokes) and other causes, such as stroke. 

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) 

With the help of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the brain as well as the course and condition of the blood vessels can be visualized. An MRI allows the doctor to get a precise picture of the location and extent of brain damage. This may also help in assessing the extent to which the patient may recover from a stroke. Magnetic resonance imaging provides more accurate results than computed tomography, but also requires more time. 

Cardiac arrhythmias (especially atrial fibrillation), can also be a possible cause of stroke. The doctor can diagnose these with an electrocardiogram (ECG). Medical progress allows the medical community to do a lot more to prevent common diseases and disorders, and in most cases, all that is required is an annual checkup.

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