- rehabilitation, care and management
Accidents (CVAs) or stokes kill or incapacitate many thousands of people each
yet the difficulties strokes can cause are still poorly understood by the
Sometimes the more minor effects -- physical weakness rather than complete
difficulty reading or writing rather than complete loss of communication -- are the most troublesome, because the sufferer does not look or sound as though
they have a problem.
Are you trying to
help someone who has had a stroke or do you know someone
who needs help in overcoming the effects of a CVA? You need information and
A stroke occurs when the
blood supply to part of the brain is suddenly interrupted or when a blood
vessel in the brain bursts, spilling blood into the spaces surrounding brain
cells. Brain cells die when they no longer receive oxygen and nutrients from
the blood or there is sudden bleeding into or around the brain. The symptoms
of a stroke include sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of
the body; sudden confusion or trouble speaking or understanding speech;
sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes; sudden trouble with walking,
dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination; or sudden severe headache
with no known cause. There are two forms of stroke: ischemic -
blockage of a blood vessel supplying the brain, and hemorrhagic -
bleeding into or around the brain.
Generally there are three treatment stages for stroke: prevention, therapy
immediately after the stroke, and post-stroke rehabilitation. Therapies to
prevent a first or recurrent stroke are based on treating an individual's
underlying risk factors for stroke, such as hypertension, atrial
fibrillation, and diabetes. Acute stroke therapies try to stop a stroke
while it is happening by quickly dissolving the blood clot causing an
ischemic stroke or by stopping the bleeding of a hemorrhagic stroke.
Post-stroke rehabilitation helps individuals overcome disabilities that
result from stroke damage. Medication or drug therapy is the most common
treatment for stroke. The most popular classes of drugs used to prevent or
treat stroke are antithrombotics (antiplatelet agents and anticoagulants)
Although stroke is a disease of the
brain, it can affect the entire body. A common disability that results from
stroke is complete paralysis on one side of the body, called hemiplegia.
A related disability that is not as debilitating as paralysis is one-sided
weakness or hemiparesis. Stroke may cause problems with thinking,
awareness, attention, learning, judgment, and memory. Stroke survivors often
have problems understanding or forming speech. A stroke can lead to
emotional problems. Stroke patients may have difficulty controlling their
emotions or may express inappropriate emotions. Many stroke patients
experience depression. Stroke survivors may also have numbness or strange
sensations. The pain is often worse in the hands and feet and is made worse
by movement and temperature changes, especially cold temperatures.
gives good advice on strokes.