ACUTE ISCHEMIC STROKE – AN OVERVIEW
Acute Ischemic stroke is a condition which causes permanent injury to the brain and a serious medical emergency. When the flow of blood to the brain is disrupted due to a clot formed in the blood vessel, it reduces the supply of sufficient blood flow to the brain. This is known as an Ischemic stroke.
Causes Of Acute Ischemic Stroke:
The blockage or clot occurs within the blood vessels due to any of the following causes:
- When fatty material known as atheroma accumulates in the artery walls, it causes reduced blood flow
- If the atheroma breaks into pieces and the tiny clots may block and lead to stroke.
- Inflammation/Infection also tends to reduce the blood flow to the brain
- Rapid drop in blood pres auses an individual to lose consciousness and if circulation and or blood pressure is not restored with proper medical care it leads to death or injury to the brain cells leading to a stroke.
- Stroke causes swelling in the brain resulting in further damage to the brain and neurological problems.
- Embolic stroke occurs in patients who already suffer from certain heart or kidney disorders.
Signs And Symptoms Of Acute Ischemic Stroke:
Majority of the strokes occur suddenly, progress rapidly and damage the brain in minutes. Stroke may get worse as it may also last for several hours. This is called Stroke in Evolution and is a rare phenomenon.
Neurons starts to die due to lack of glucose, membrane depolarization, failure of ATP Production, rise in intracellular calcium and free radical production. Membranes degrade, mitochondria break down and cellular cytoskeleton fails.
Some symptoms normally found are:
- Loss of sensation
- Loss of vision or hearing
- Difficulty in speaking
- Weakness or partial paralysis of one side of leg, arm or body
- Loss of coordination & balance
- Cognitive problems like understanding/comprehending simple instructions.
Treatment For Acute Ischemic Stroke:
The cause of stroke differs from patient to patient. The outcome of the stroke depends on the severity of the stroke and the part of the brain that is affected. Some may regain the complete functional capacity while some may not be able to eat, speak and walk normally.
The treatment of a stroke primarily focuses on the below:
- Immediate medical attention to prevent the stroke from causing any further damage to the brain
- For patients suffering an acute stroke, a respirator is turned on to enable him get adequate breathing and avoid further complications.
- If a blood clot is the cause of stroke, clot dissolving drugs are administered. However it is to be noted that, these need to be injected intravenously within 3 hours of the first symptoms, for the drug to actually work.
- While the dead tissue cannot be restored, rehabilitation can overcome the disability by training other parts of the brain to pick up activities earlier performed by the dead tissue.
- Rehabilitation via Ayurveda, physiotherapy, occupational and speech therapy is recommended to the patient even after his/her stay at the hospital for a speedy recovery.
Ayurveda’s Role In The Management Of Acute Ischemic Stroke
Though there is not much ayurveda can do while there is an acute attack of stroke its plays a vital role in rehabilitation along with physiotherapy.