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Stroke: now twenty years old …

Why does a stroke occur?
In addition to grief for relatives and friends of the deceased, a great loss for domestic sports, this tragedy makes us seriously think about the socio-medical aspects of what happened. It’s not even that strokes are “younger” – and nowadays there are not only young men, but even elementary school students. And in the general, perhaps, for the whole world, people’s habit of ignoring the precursors of a beginning formidable pathology.

This was recently reported by scientists from the American Medical Center Ronald Reagan. That there’s a headache – three quarters of Americans who fell into the “lens” said they were inclined to postpone treatment to a medical institution.

Look for the alarming symptoms of a stroke
Even with the appearance of even disturbing symptoms such as loss of balance, confusion, problems with vision and speech, weakness of the limbs. 73% of respondents said that in such a situation they would wait for the disappearance – or confirmation of these symptoms, and only after that they would decide to see a doctor.

Meanwhile, from the point of view of neurology, such behavior, otherwise than suicidal, can not be called. In this branch of medicine there is even such a thing as a “therapeutic window” – that is, the interval from the onset of the disease, when the treatment started can have the maximum benefit. In ischemic strokes, such a “window” is only about 3 hours. Although a certain effect is sometimes reached up to 6 hours after the onset of the disease.

So, during this period, drugs that dissolve a blood clot introduced into the body, for example, can completely eliminate the cause of the disorder of cerebral circulation – and brain cells suffering from oxygen starvation, which have not yet had time to die, will provide an almost complete restoration of impaired functions. The disappearance of the same weakness of the arms and legs, the disappearance of dizziness, the restoration of clear speech, etc.

When the therapeutic window closes
But when the “therapeutic window” “closes” – in most cases, doctors can expect to restore brain function, perhaps in percentage terms. Ideally, up to 90%. But this is with luck. The general statistics of acute cerebrovascular accidents is ruthless – only a quarter of patients restore their ability to work, half remain disabled in various groups, and another quarter die.

True, the latter option is more often given not by ischemic, but by hemorrhagic strokes – colloquially, “cerebral hemorrhage”. Which, most likely, killed the rising star of Russian chess – dying from ONMK by ischemic type within a few hours, and even at such a young age, is quite problematic. On the other hand, many cerebral hemorrhages leave much less consequences with timely treatment if compared with more classic ischemia.

But the key word here is “timely.” Either the urgent appointment of hemostatic drugs and a number of other powerful drugs – or, with certain forms of hemorrhage, an urgent neurosurgical operation. But for all this patient it is necessary, for starters, to show the doctor – or at least the paramedic.

When urgently need to dial “03”
But how many people want to dial “03” – when you see “just some kind of headache there”? Which for a long time can be almost the only complaint with the same subarachnoid hemorrhage, for example – and with subdural intracranial hematoma too.

It is much easier after all to “deliver a powerful blow to pain” – as the advertisement of one really powerful analgesic codeine-containing drug says. Moreover, in 999 cases out of a thousand headaches can really go away without any serious consequences. It’s a pity, this one case can send a person to the other world …

Until the fried rooster pecks we pay no attention to the pain
Well, it’s not sad to be aware of this, but despite the fundamental difference between the Russian and American mentality, the attitude to the possible onset of stroke among representatives of both nations vividly reminds one of the proverb: “Until the roasted rooster pecks, the man will not cross himself.” Despite the usually much more reverent attitude of Americans to their health – as the basis of economic success in business.

Fortunately for those professing a philosophy, “maybe they will carry it through”, miracles do happen in this area. According to statistics, up to 40% of strokes are “mute”. That is, asymptomatic – detected more often by accident, when conducting magnetic resonance imaging of the brain, for other reasons. Yes, and a violation of cerebral circulation can sometimes pass by itself – in this case they talk about its “transient” type.

Russian Roulette is a stroke for us
But, really, hoping for such an outcome, instead of really taking care of one’s health, is the same as counting on the empty chamber in the drum being pulled under the cocked trigger while playing the infamous “Russian roulette”. Where it is more reliable at the slightest, disturbing unusual and painful sensations, some of which are listed above, immediately call an ambulance.

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