Stroke: Symptoms, Treatment, Risks, Prevention, What Are The Signs And How To React?

Strokes cause many victims every year, so it is important to know how to recognize to react as quickly as possible.


Stroke: symptoms, treatment, risks, prevention, what are the signs and how to react?

Updated on october 10, 2022 at 18:06

Published on June 24, 2022 at 17:52

Strokes cause many victims every year, so it is important to know how to recognize to react as quickly as possible.

According to Health Insurance companies, stroke affects 140,000 people in France every year, or one in 6 people would suffer one in their lifetime. There would be one every 4 minutes according to WHO and it causes 30,000 deaths per year on our territory.

Faced with the frequency of this disease and the need to raise awareness, many campaigns and associations are campaigning to transmit life-saving gestures. Indeed, as soon as an accident starts, a time trial starts, because it is imperative to intervene quickly to try to limit the damage caused to the brain and thus the irremediable consequences on the patient.

Symptoms: how to recognize a stroke?

Stroke is linked to the appearance of a failure of blood circulation in one or more parts of the brain. More specifically, it appears when blood encounters an obstacle that may be a blood clot (called ischemic stroke) or when a blood vessel is broken (hemorrhagic stroke) according to France Stroke.

Because of this dysfunction, the brain will no longer be irrigated properly and nerve cells will no longer receive the oxygen or nutrients they need.

In the short term, this failure can lead to a wide variety of symptoms that are not all necessarily present. It can be:

  • a loss of motor skills of an arm, leg, half the face, or even the whole body, leading to paralysis and loss of balance
  • a loss of sensitivity felt as numbness in the limbs or face
  • Some people have sudden difficulties expressing themselves, finding words or speaking
  • others experience vision problems: sudden loss of vision, blurred vision in one eye, glare sensation, loss of color vision
  • the attack can also manifest itself in the form of headaches of exceptional intensity and accompanied by vomiting

All these signs can be brief and disappear on their own, but they must quickly alert and push for urgent intervention. Indeed, the accident can be transitory and later followed by a more severe accident. Hence the interest of knowing the warning signs of this dysfunction, because the faster the reaction, the greater the chances of survival.

Treatment: what to do in case of stroke?

The first objective of the intervention is to restore blood circulation in case of obstruction or to reduce blood effusion in case of bleeding.

Depending on the situation, several treatments are possible. In case of obstruction, a blood enzyme that helps dissolve clots (called a tissue plasminogen activator) is administered. It eliminates obstruction quickly.

The drug is administered venously and this is called thrombolysis or fibrinolysis. The latter must be given to the patient within 4:30 hours after the accident.

If this first emergency method fails or depending on the location of the blood clot responsible for stroke, especially in the cerebral artery, doctors may perform a mechanical thrombectomy, which must be performed no more than 6 hours after the stroke under radioscopic control.

Within hours, other treatments, including anti-coagulant or anti-platelet, may be given to the patient. If there is bleeding, an operation may be necessary to shed the blood. Soon, doctors will question the cause of stroke and try to identify factors that may have favored it, in order to reduce the risk of recurrence. They will also try to determine the extent of brain injury.

In addition to drugs, rehabilitation is an integral part of the treatments envisaged to restore functions that may have been damaged or lost as a result of stroke. After an attack, many affected people continue to suffer from motor, sensory, sensory or cognitive sequelae that particularly handicap their lives in the most serious cases.

Risk factors: how to prevent stroke?

As the disease is increasingly known, doctors have identified factors that increase the risk of having a stroke. The main one is high blood pressure (hypertension), which weakens the wall of blood vessels. An hypertension almost multiplies the risk of stroke by 9 before the age of 45 while it multiplies it by 4 in people over 45.

Another risk factor: smoking that contributes to atherosclerosis, increases blood pressure and can reduce the quality of oxygen delivered by the blood. Regular and heavy alcohol consumption can also increase the risk. Other factors include obesity, poor nutrition, lack of physical activity, but also chronic stress.

People with diabetes, migraines, or whose close relative has been a victim of stroke, also have a higher risk of having a stroke one day.

While aging is an aggravating factor, strokes do not only affect individuals over the age of 65 and can also occur in younger ones. The average age of occurrence would be 73, even if there are 30,000 cases per year among those under 45 according to the Brain Institute.

As a preventive measure, it is therefore advisable to monitor these factors and consult a doctor regularly, especially if you are considered a person at risk. Any suspicious signs must alert and prompt prompt prompt prompt consultation.

Sources used:

  • The signs of stroke - Ministry of Health and Solidarity
  • Stroke - WHO
  • Understanding stroke and transient ischemic attack -
  • Stroke - Brain Institute