You Are Never Too Young… for a Stroke

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    Stroke

    Luke Perry, star of hit show Beverly Hills, 90210 (1992-2000) and Riverdale passed away at the of 52 on March 4th after suffering from a stroke.

    Many people are wondering how someone so young could have possibly had a stroke.

    Unfortunately, strokes can strike at any age and are actually increasing in younger people.

    According to the American Stroke Association, strokes are the second leading cause of death in the world.

    With nearly 800,000 strokes occurring in the U.S. each year, strokes are the fifth highest cause of death in America, as well as a leading cause for long-term disability.

    Age is a major risk factor for having a stroke, as the risk doubles each decade after the age of 55.

    But this doesn’t mean that adults in their 20s, 30s or 40s aren’t at risk.

    According to a 25-year-long study published in December 2018 in the New England Journal of Medicine, 1 in 4 adults over the age of 25 are at risk for a stroke.

    Between 2000 and 2010, hospitalizations for people between the ages of 25 and 44 for ischemic strokes (where blood flow to the brain is blocked by a clot) surged by 44%.

    At the same time, strokes declined nearly 30% among those between the ages of 65 and 84 years old according to a May 2016 study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

    A stroke is caused by either a blood clot that obstructs blood flow to the brain (ischemic stroke) or when a blood vessel ruptures and prevents blood flow to the brain (hemorrhagic stroke).

    A TIA (transient ischemic attack), or “mini stroke,” is caused by a temporary clot that passes quickly on its own.

    Because the brain is a highly complex organ that controls various functions of the body, when blood and oxygen is unable to flow to a specific area of the brain, the tissue and cells die.

    Therefore, the effects of a stroke depend on several factors, including the location of the obstructed blood flow in the brain and how much brain tissue is affected.

    For example, if the stroke occurs toward the back of the brain, it’s likely that some disability involving vision will result.

    Recognizing the signs of a stroke and seeking immediate emergency attention is vital to surviving a stroke.

    The American Stroke Association says people should learn the top signs of a stroke by memorizing the acronym, FAST (face, arm, speech, time):

    Face Drooping

    Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile uneven or lopsided?

    Arm Weakness

    Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

    Speech

    Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence.

    Time to Call 9-1-1

    If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if these symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get them to the hospital immediately.

    Other symptoms can include:

    • Sudden numbness
    • Sudden weakness of face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body
    • Sudden confusion
    • Sudden trouble speaking or understanding speech
    • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
    • Sudden trouble walking
    • Sudden dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
    • Sudden severe headache with no known cause

    On the plus side, younger people are more likely to recover from a stroke more quickly and fully than older adults says Noor Sachdev, MD, a neurologist at Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose, California.

    “Younger patients, just by the nature of the brain itself, will heal faster no matter what you do,” he says. “You don’t get brain tissue back, but you have neuroplasticity, a constant rewiring and re-networking of the brain.”

    Younger people may also recover faster because they’re generally stronger, have fewer diseases, and can better tolerate physical therapy.

    Freedom Health News is committed to getting you the latest information to help you prevent a stroke.

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