ABCs of Strokes

Heart attacks and cerebrovascular accidents (strokes) are often caused by blockages in blood flow that prevent blood from reaching the heart or brain.

The most important causes of heart disease and cerebrovascular accidents (strokes) are an unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, tobacco use and harmful alcohol consumption.

SYMPTOMS

The most common symptom of a stroke is the loss of muscle strength in the arms, legs or face, usually only on one side of the body. Other symptoms include:

  • Numbness in the face, legs, or arms, usually only on one side of the body
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty speaking or understanding what is being said
  • Impaired vision in one or both eyes
  • Difficulty walking
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of balance or coordination
  • Severe headache with unknown cause
  • Weakness or loss of consciousness

The central nervous system has the ability to respond to a brain injury. During a stroke (cerebral infarction or hemorrhage) thousands of neurons that had a specific body function, such as moving the arm or leg, tongue, swallowing, etc. are damaged. Unfortunately, the neurons that are lost cannot be recovered, however, the nervous system has neuroplasticity, meaning the remaining neurons learn new functions, allowing the body to regain function. It is a process of relearning, and just as you learned to walk, ride a bike, or write, repetitive activities are required to perfect motor control.

REHABILITATION AND RECOVERY

A good rehabilitation program includes motor retraining based on the performance of specific, everyday tasks. Physical rehabilitation is the cornerstone for the gradual recovery of patients following a stroke.

After a stroke or cerebrovascular disease (CVD), a certain percentage of spontaneous recovery is expected. Within the first three months, recovery is achieved quickly. This rapid recovery can last up to six months. After this period, motor recovery continues but is slower. Taking part in a rehabilitation program stimulates the reorganization and re-learning of daily living activities until maximum recovery potential is reached. Every patient who has suffered a stroke must receive physical therapy treatment, so it is important that stroke patients are in constant communication with their doctors.

WE RECOMMEND GOING TO THE ABC NEUROLOGY CENTER, WHERE OUR MULTIDISCIPLINARY TEAM WILL WORK ON YOUR REHABILITATION.

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