Understanding Paralytic Stroke

By avn
10:04 am Posted June 8, 2016
In Stroke

Paralytic Stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted or reduced to a large extent, depriving brain tissues of essential oxygen and nutrients. When these cells do not receive oxygen and nutrients, they begin to die. This is considered a medical emergency and immediate medical treatment is essential to prevent further brain damage and possible implications.

Symptoms of Paralytic Stroke:

The most common symptoms include:

  • Trouble speaking and comprehending simple instructions
  • Paralysis or numbness on one side of the body
  • Trouble in vision in either or both the eyes
  • Severe headache
  • Trouble Walking

Recognizing a Paralytic Stroke

The easiest way to recognize if someone is getting a Paralytic Stroke is to look for “F.A.S.T”

  • F – Face – Ask the person to smile. Do you notice the face drooping to one side?
  • A – Arms – Ask the person to raise both arms – Is one hand drifting downward or does he/she have any difficulty lifting them?
  • S – Speech – Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase – Is his or her speed slurred or confused?
  • T – Time – If you notice any of the above symptoms, rush the person to the nearest hospital at the earliest.

Types of Stroke:

  • Ischemic Stroke -A stroke caused due to a blocked artery
  • Hemorrhagic stroke– A stroke caused by bursting or leaking of a blood vessel
  • Transient Ischemic Attack – Is an episode wherein, the blood supply to the brain maybe temporarily interrupted causing a paralytic Stroke that reverses within sometime.

Ischemic Stroke:

This type of stroke occurs when the arteries leading to your brain become narrow or get completely blocked causing reduced blood supply to the brain. This type of stroke can be further classified into two types:

  • Thrombotic Stroke:
    This occurs when a clot in one of the arteries leading to the brain, stops blood supply to the brain. The clot maybe due to fat deposits on the arterial walls eventually leading to clogging and thereby the death of brain cells. This results in a paralytic stroke.
  • Embolic Stroke: :
    This occurs when a clot occurs in any other part of your bod, most likely the heart and then travels towards the brain through the bloodstream. This clot is referred to as the embolus and when it settles in a major blood vessel in the brain, it causes a paralytic stroke.

Hemorrhagic Stroke

This type of stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain leaks or bursts. This can be caused due to a variety of factors including high blood pressure, aneurysms or overtreatment with anticoagulants.

Types of hemorrhagic stroke include:

  • Intracerebral Hemorrhage :
    In this case, the blood vessel in the brain bursts and spills into the surrounding tissues, damaging brain cells. High BP, trauma, Use of blood thinners are some of the causes for this type of stroke.
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage: In this type of stroke, an artery on or near the surface of the brain burst open and blood floods the space between the skull and the surface of the brain. This is usually symptomised by a very severe headache. This also leads to a paralytic stroke.

Transient Ischemic Stroke

This is also called a mini stroke and sometimes precedes a full blown stroke. This is usually caused due to a temporary decrease in blood supply to certain parts of the brain for a brief period of time. The symptoms usually disappear within 24 hours.

A TIA or Transient Ischemic Stroke increases the chances of a full blown stroke. While it is difficult to confirm if a person is suffering from a full blown stroke or a mini stroke, immediate medical attention is essential in both the scenarios, to prevent further brain damage.

Risk Factors for Paralytic Stroke:

The risk factors for stroke may be classified into many sub-types.

Non Treatable Risk Factors for Stroke

  • Family History of Stroke
  • Old Age
  • Race
  • Gender

Lifestyle related Risk factors

  • Being Obese or overweight
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Alcohol Abuse
  • Drug Abuse
  • Active or Passive Smoking

Medical risk factors include

    • High Blood Pressure
    • High cholesterol levels
    • Diabetes
    • Obstructive Sleep apnea – a sleep disorder in which the oxygen levels to the brain drops intermittently.
    • Heart diseases, defects or infection.

While a few of the factors cannot be controlled, majority of the factors that cause stroke can be prevented by leading an active, healthy life, being aware of the risk factors and managing them effectively by following the advice and treatment from a physician.

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