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Published on: April 2, 2012
by Your News Now
A stroke is an attack on the brain. It occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is interrupted or severely reduced, depriving brain tissue of oxygen and food. Within minutes, brain cells begin to die.
In the United States alone, stroke is the third leading cause of death, killing about 137,000 people each year. Approximately 795,000 people will suffer from some form of stroke this year. Strokes can happen to anyone at any time, regardless of race, sex or age and it is the leading cause of serious, long-term adult disability.
There are two major types of strokes: ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke. Ischemic stroke occurs when arteries are blocked by blood clots or by the gradual build-up of plaque and other fatty deposits. Hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain breaks leaking blood into the brain.
Approximately 55,000 more women than men have a stroke each year. Men’s stroke incidence rates are greater than women’s at younger ages, but not older ages; and African Americans are twice as likely of having a stroke compared to whites. About 87 percent of all strokes are ischemic. Hemorrhagic strokes account for 13 percent of all strokes, yet are responsible for more than thirty percent of all stroke deaths.
Detection: Use the F.A.S.T. to detect signs of a stroke:
F = FACE: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
A = ARMS: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S = SPEECH: Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Does the speech sound slurred or strange?
T = TIME: If you observe any of these signs (independently or together), call 9-1-1 immediately.
There are ways to prevent a stroke, such as: Not smoking or quitting smoking; controlling your cholesterol, blood pressure, and diabetes; exercising at least 30 minutes a day; maintaining a healthy weight; and limiting how much alcohol you drink. This means 1 drink a day for women and 2 a day for men.
Stroke rehabilitation is the process by which a stroke survivor works with a team of health care providers with the aim of regaining as much of the function lost after a stroke as possible. By joining a comprehensive rehabilitation program immediately after leaving the hospital, stroke survivors can maximize their chances of recovery, and in most cases they can regain a substantial portion of the functions they lost as a result of their stroke.
Some of the different types of medical professionals who participate in the care of stroke patients during the rehabilitation process include:
1. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Physicians (Physiatrists)
2 .Physical Therapists
3. Speech Therapists
4. Occupational Therapists
Stem cells are the body’s raw materials – cells from which all other cells with specialized functions are generated. Researchers hope to train stem cells into becoming specific cells so that those specialized cells can be used to regenerate and repair diseased or damaged tissues in people.
Both polypeptide growth factors and stem cell populations from bone marrow and umbilical cord blood hold promise as treatments to enhance neurologic recovery after a stroke. The ALD-401 trial is a phase 2 study with a phase 1 safety cohort testing ALD-401 stem cells derived from autologous bone marrow delivered via intracarotid infusion in subjects with ischemic stroke. All study assessments are blinded. This trial is the first trial in the United States and in the world to study the infusion of stem cells into the human brain.
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