Stroke Awareness: #StrokeMonth · Symptoms (#BeFast) · CDC.gov: Risk Factors · Treatment and Recovery · StrokeAwareness.org · New Jersey Stroke Center Hosptials · Donate
A stroke is a brain attack. It is a sudden interruption of continuous blood flow to the brain and a medical emergency. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain becomes blocked or narrowed, or when a blood vessel bursts and spills blood into the brain. Just like a heart attack, a stroke requires immediate medical attention.
Some brain cells die because they stop getting the oxygen and nutrients needed to function. Other brain cells die because they are damaged by sudden bleeding in or around the brain. Some brain cells die quickly but many linger in a compromised or weakened state for several hours. Stroke causes permanent brain damage over minutes to hours.
With stroke, “time is brain,” meaning that the sooner treatment begins, the better. Knowing the signs of stroke and calling 911 immediately can help save a relative, neighbor, or friend. With timely treatment it is possible to save these cells and greatly reduce and reverse the damage.
Strokes can be prevented and treated. Making lifestyle changes and getting regular medical and prenatal care can help prevent stroke and significantly reduce the risk for other disorders such as dementia, heart disease, and diabetes.
1 in 4 stroke survivors will have another stroke. A large majority of strokes can be prevented through education and lifestyle changes such as moving more, healthy eating, managing blood pressure, getting healthy sleep, and quitting smoking and vaping.
Controlling the risk factors for stroke is critical to preventing future strokes. Achieving and maintaining healthy numbers for blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol (all risk factors for stroke) reduce the risk of a second stroke. It’s also important to manage and monitor your risk factors (e.g., by checking your blood pressure at home) and to understand how to take prescribed medications.