Good Fighting Stroke: Knowing Its Causes And Treatments Research Paper Example
Stroke is a medical condition wherein damage on the brain leads to an impulsive shortfall in the function of the brain (Bornstein 1). This condition has been one of the leading causes of death around the world. Every year, many people died with this condition. Around 6 million people around the world died because of stroke. Meanwhile, other people suffering from stroke are living having disabilities such as paralysis, loss of vision, and speech difficulties (“Stroke”). Strokes occur when there is a deficiency in the supply of blood in the brain. When the supply of blood is cut off, oxygen and important nutrients will not be transported to the brain. Thus, it will lead to damage in the brain. In this condition, the brain will not be able to control body movements and affect body functions (“What is Stroke” 4).
Stroke might not be easily diagnosed because its symptoms are sudden. A sudden, severe headache, numbness, on one side of your body, speech difficulties, sudden blurred vision or loss of sight are some of the symptoms (“What is Stroke” 7).
There are two types of strokes – ischemic and hemorrhagic. The most common type of stroke is Ischemic stroke accounting to 87 percent of the reported cases of stroke. This type of stroke occurs when the flow of blood in an area in the brain is not enough or is interrupted due to the blockage in an artery (Gomes and Wachsman 16). Atherothrombotic changes of the arteries that transport blood to the brain may cause ischematic stroke if the flow of blood is reduced beyond the critical time. Infarction may also occur on blood tissues. These infarcts are dependent on the method of obstruction in the arteries, the capacity of the vascular bed, and the size of the vessel that is obstructed. Infarcts can also develop when large arteries narrowed and blood cannot be delivered above the critical level (Brainin & Heiss 3). Ischemic stroke can also be caused by large-vessel atherothrombosis, cardioembolism, small-vessel disease, extracranial arterial dissections, primary or parainfectious cerebral vasculitis, and coagulopathies (Gomes and Wachsman 19-22).
On the other hand, cases of hemorrhagic stroke are lesser compared to ischemic stroke. It accounts to 10 to 15 percent of the cases of stroke. However, this type results to high mortality and morbidity. In this type of stroke, an area in the brain bleeds. This condition causes damage to the tissues in the brain. When the blood leakage occurs in the parenchyma it results to intracerebral hemorrhage, a type of hemorrhagic stroke. Meanwhile, subarachnoid hemorrhage is a type of stroke wherein blood build up in spaces occupies by cerebrospinal fluid (Gomes and Wachsman 23-24). Hypertension is the most common cause of hemorrhagic stroke which is a result of high consumption of alcohol, high serum cholesterol levels, and cigarette smoking. Hypertension can lead to rupture of deep and small arteries having a diameter of 50 to 200 mm. when this happens, the vessel wall will be weakened and cause further small bleedings. This condition may continue for hours (Brainin & Heiss 5). Cerebral amyloid angiopathy, bleeding diathesis-associated hemorrhage, therapeutic anticoagulation, hemorrhage in the setting of a vascular malformation can also cause hemorrhagic stroke (Gomes and Wachsman 23-26).
Different factors can also put patients at high risk. These risks may be brought by the lifestyle or the disease and pathological conditions that the patients experienced. Lifestyle factors have lower risk as they can prevent the occurrence of stroke if the lifestyle is change. Lifestyle factors include obesity, cigarette smoking, physical inactivity, alcohol consumption, and dietary factors. Cigarette smoking is primarily contributes to various diseases. Around 16 percent of the smokers are students. Meanwhile, 20 percent of men and 16 percent of women are smokers. It was reported in 2012 that there are about 6,300 new cigarette smokers a day (“Heart Disease” 2). Commonly, adults with less educational attainment are into cigarette smoking. Drinking too much alcohol can cause the risk of having coronary heart disease and stroke. Studies show that drinking more than 60 g of ethanol/day can increase risk of ischemic stroke. Drinking alcohol can be beneficial to one’s health if consumed in lesser amounts (Brainin & Heiss 91). Physical inactivity can also lead to the risk of stroke. In the USA, it was reported that 31 percent of the adults is not participate in recreational physical activities. The American Heart Association recommends of 60 minutes of exercise every day (“Heart Disease” 2). It is important to have a regular exercise because physical activities can increases plasma tissue, HDL serum cholesterol, and glucose tolerance and decrease body weight and blood pressure (Brainin & Heiss 92). Having poor diet can lead to the development of other diseases that can lead to stroke. The American Heart Association reported the less that 1 percent of U.S. adults meet a healthy diet. People have difficulties in reducing sodium intake and increasing the consumption of whole grains. Studies show that men consumes 10 percent calories more than what is recommended while women consumed 22 percent more is is equivalent to 1900 calories a day (“Heart Disease” 3). Obesity also contributes to the risk of having stroke because it can lead to other diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and dyslipidemia. The men having a body mass index which is higher than 25 has higher risks of experiencing stroke. Risk of ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke can also increase for people with increasing body mass index (Brainin & Heiss 91-92).
While lifestyle factors are easier to handle, diseases and pathological conditions must be given attention and proper treatment. High blood pressure is the leading risk of stroke. An estimated of 972 million adults have hypertension around the world. About 33 percent of the adults in USA is reported to have high blood pressure. That is approximately equivalent to 80 million people. Those people having this condition undergo medications but only 54 percent have their conditions controlled. Cases of hypertension increase to 8 percent from 2013 to 2030. It is also reported that hypertension is most common among African-Americans. Hispanics are reported to have more cases of hypertension next to African- Americans (“Heart Disease” 4). Diabetes is also a major risk of stroke around 6.4 percent of adults worldwide is suffering from diabetes and 21 million are Americans (“Heart Disease” 4).
Being one of the leading causes of death worldwide, stroke has been a major medical concern in different countries. Many new cases and deaths due to stroke are reported in different countries each year. In USA, stroke is the fourth leading cause of death causing deaths of 129,000 people every year. That is, one stroke patient dies every four minutes. There are several cases of stroke reported every year amounting to 795,000 per year (“Heart Disease” 2). In the study of Frey, Jahnke, and Bulfinch (30), they found out that hemorrhagic stroke is more common in Hispanic than the white or native Americans. This result might be because of the high cases of hypertension, diabetes, and high alcohol consumption among Hispanics. 72 percent of Hispanics who experience stroke are also suffering from hypertension. Meanwhile 72 percent of women at the age of 20 and above, and 75 percent of men are obese. Being obese is a result of cultural influence as they consume more fatty foods (“Stroke Among Hispanics”). On the other hand, there are only few cases of strokes among Asians Americans. This may result from lower rates of obesity and hypertension, and lower number of people who are smoking cigarettes (“Stroke and Asian Americans”).
Based from the number people suffering from stroke, it can be concluded that this is a common condition. Many died from this condition while others are living with the disability that it brought to the patients. Occurrence of stroke may fall as time goes by but other vascular disease might be acquired (Lindley 16). The results of stroke include weakness or paralysis, communication problems, sleep and tiredness, and problems with sensation and vision. Paralysis is the most common effect of stroke. It commonly occurs on one side of the body. Stiffness of the muscles in the arms and legs made it more difficult for the patient. Communication problems may also occur due to difficulties in speaking, listening, reading, and writing. This condition is called aphasia. This is cause by the effect of stroke on the muscles in the face, tongue, and throat. Stroke can also affect the patients balance. It may be caused by the damage on the brain that controls the balance of the body. Patients recovering from stroke may also experience sleep problems and tiredness. The patient may experience difficulty in sleeping making him to feel more tired. This condition may last for many months. Another effect of stroke is sensation problems. Patients may be too sensitive with light, color, sound, and painful sensations. Patients may also experience pain due to tightening of muscles. Visual problems may also occur for patients after having stroke. A patient may have hemianopia wherein he can only see on one side. Mental processes of the patient might also be affected. In this problem, the patient may have difficulty in remembering things and affects concentration (“What is Stroke” 10-13).
Other serious condition that the patient might experience after stroke is dementia, depression, and epilepsy. Dementia may develop due to the disturbance in the mental processes and memory impairmen. Meanwhile, seizure may happen when there is damage in the infarct area in the brain. Post stroke seizure happen with a range of 2 to 33 percent. Epilepsy may occur when the patient experience at least two episodes of seizure (Bornstein 138-139).
Stroke, being one of the leading causes of death, brings not only financial problem to the patients but economic problems as well. Every year, there are about 550,000 patients that are sent to the hospitals. This condition may lead to economic problem because of the medical expenses and the loss of productivity. The Stroke Prevention Patient Outcomes Research Team reported that economic burden cost to $17 billion due to direct medical costs and $13 billion due to the cost related to the loss in productivity in 1993. The lifetime cost of stroke per person ranges from $90 981to $228 030. The early onset of stroke contributed to the larger cost (Taylor et al). Meanwhile, other reports show that $43 billion is spent on stroke in USA every year. $28 billion of it is spent on medical care and therapy while $15 billion loss is accounted from the loss of productivity. It would also cost $15,000 for the care for patient after stroke. It can also increase up to $35,000 and 43 percent of it is spent on initial hospitalization (“Stroke Statistics”).
Stroke patients not only suffer physically but also emotionally. A patient may feel various emotions such as depression, anger, sadness, anxiety, low self-esteem and loss of confidence. Depression is more common among patients since they may feel that they cannot do what they used to do before having stroke. The recovery of the patient may take longer when he feels depressed. Family member are affected with the patient’s condition as well. Additional time and financial needs must be given by family members. Also, they must also assist the patient in during the recovery. Patients may easily recover from stroke if enough care and assistance is given. Patients may also undergo other treatment such as counselling and taking anti depressants (“What is Stroke?” 14).
The symptoms of stroke may affect the patient in a shorter period of time while there are others who suffered long term effects and some of it might be severed. Recovery from stroke may take months or even years. Constant medication and consultation is important to fasten the recovery and avoid further complications. It is important to look forward to positive results in order to cope up after having stroke. The patient can gradually do the things he used to do. Friends and family members should help the patient to live his normal life again. They should spend more time with the patients and help him not to feel that he is a burden.
Stroke must be taken seriously. With the increasing number cases of stroke worldwide, everyone must gain knowledge about it. It is important to know how it can be prevented and know what causes it. There are many health associations that are helping to disseminate information regarding stroke. If the person is experiencing the symptoms, one must not neglect it and take immediate action. Having a healthy lifestyle is very important in preventing stroke and other health problems as well. For those who have medical condition that can lead to stroke, they must undergo treatment so that it could not lead to stroke.
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Brainin, M., & Heiss, W.D. Textbook of Stroke Medicine. New York: Cambridge University
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Gomes, J. & Wachsman, A.M. “Types of Strokes.” Handbook of Clinical Nutrition and Stroke.
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Native American Patients.” American Heart Association Journals. 1998. Web. 23 March 2015. < http://stroke.ahajournals.org/content/29/1/29.full>
Lindley, R. “Stroke.” New York: Oxford university Press. 2008. Print.
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“Stroke and Asian Americans.” Office of minority Health Resource Center. Web. 23 March
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