Stroke in Young Individuals Dr. Anil R, Consultant – Neurologist, Manipal Hospital Hebbal
Stroke is one of the significant health issues that affect several youngsters as well as a small number of adults who fall under the 45-year mark. It is one of the neurological conditions that causes
Stroke is one of the significant health issues that affect several youngsters as well as a small number of adults who fall under the 45-year mark. It is one of the neurological conditions that causes long-term disabilities with a large number of emotional and socioeconomic consequences. There are various reasons which cause strokes, such as high cholesterol, diabetes, hypertension, sudden life lifestyle modifications, abdominal obesity, smoking, and increased alcohol consumption. Besides these, if there is a strong family history of stroke then the youngsters from that family have a higher probability of experiencing it. However, people with genetic issues resulting from altered blood proteins can also get affected by it.
What are the Symptoms of Stroke?
Stroke patients usually come to the hospital with the sudden onset of symptoms such as:
- Hand and leg weakness
- One side of the body’s weakness
- Sudden onset of imbalance,
- Slurred speech,
- Loss of consciousness
- Sudden onset of visual blurring
- Sudden onset of double vision
- Sudden severe headache with vomiting
How to treat a Stroke Patient?
One of the challenging jobs for any doctor is to treat a stroke patient. This is because it is one of the most sudden life risks. Therefore, to treat a patient who is suffering from a stroke, it is important to be fast and understand the reason behind that. For the initial stage either CT scans or a MRI, and an angiography needs to be performed. MRI or CT scan of brain helps in understanding which part of the brain is involved and the extent of brain damage. Whereas, angiography helps in knowing the nature of the clot present in the blood vessel.
How can one prevent getting a stroke?
Before it was recommended to maintain a regular check-up on the levels of blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure after the age of 30. However, in recent days, with the increasing number of stroke cases, it is now being asked of youngsters over the age of 25 to schedule regular check-ups. Apart from that, to prevent the risk factors of stroke, it is highly recommended to maintain a few things, such as:
- A daily exercise routine of 1 hour 4 days a week
- Follow a balanced diet with the right proportion of food
- If identified with any risk factors, monitor and take care of the same
- Take the prescribed medication regularly
- Manage stress
- Follow a sleeping habit of at least 8 hours
Manipal Hospital, Hebbal effectively diagnosed a case of stroke in a 35-year-old gentleman patient Vinit (name changed), and assisted him in returning to his normal life. This patient arrived at the emergency room with a sudden onset of left hand and leg weakness. It is well known that a stroke is the most likely cause of someone who suddenly develops weakness in their hands or legs. So as soon as he arrived at the hospital within a few hours after the stroke, looking at the symptoms, he was immediately sent for an MRI scan for initial identification. The scan confirmed the stroke caused by the occlusion of the blood vessels and helped the team initiate treatment for it. It is acknowledged that, when a stroke victim arrives within 3 to 4.5 hours, a window of opportunity known as the “golden period” allows the experts to open the vessel, which helps to reduce the patient’s risk of stroke. According to the patient and the observers, he suffered a stroke somewhere between 8 to 9 o’clock in the morning and became unconscious on the staircase. The person’s survival was made possible by the early response to the emergency and the early identification of the case.
Commenting on the condition Dr. Anil R, Consultant – Neurologist, Manipal Hospital Hebbal, said, “On average, 80% of strokes are caused by a blocked vessel, while just 20% are caused by rupture of the vessel. In this case, Vinit’s vessel was blocked with blood clots. He came with a sudden onset of hand and leg weakness. So the first thing we did was open the blocked area. There are two ways of opening it: one, which we have followed, is to give an injection through the IV line (intravenous line), which directly dissolves the clot and opens the vessel. It is useful if the block is a small or medium-sized blood vessel. If it is a large vessel that is supplying blood to the brain that gets blocked, sometimes this process doesn’t work and we need to pull the clot out. This process is known as thrombectomy, where we use a guide wire and pierce it through an artery of the groin or the hands and reach the heart vessel, and then approach the brain vessel. The wire is connected to a suction machine, and by applying pressure to it, we suck the clot out. The scan shows clots in the right side of the brain and a blockage in the large vessel known as the internal carotid artery. Immediately understanding the scenario, we gave the injection to lie in and, side by side prepared the cabinet, shifted him there, and started with the treatment.”
Dr. Anil also added, “If the stroke is not treated early and the occluded vessel is not opened as early as possible, it can cause significant damage to the brain tissue. So, the sufferer can face permanent weakness of the hand and leg that can cause paralysis further on. As a result, it is advised to seek medical attention at a hospital as soon as possible for prompt treatment. As he arrived within 2 hours, it was a great help for the medical management to take him out of risk and provide him with the necessary care and treatment. Immediately after we took out the blood clot, blood flow rushed out to the brain and stabilized the condition. For follow up he came to the hospital after a few weeks, and now he is completely recovered and leading a healthy life.”