How to handle a stroke
Radio talk with Sue and Zulaikha 28th March 2019
Q) How can we definitely tell if a person has just had a stroke ?
A) A stroke can be identified by asking three simple questions:
S * Ask the individual to SMILE.
T * Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE eg: my name is ……..
R * Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.
Another ‘sign’ of a stroke is this: Ask the person to ‘stick’ out his tongue. If the tongue is ‘crooked’, if it goes to one side or the other, it is also an indication of a stroke.
If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call for medical help immediately
Q) Why is it so important to rush?
A) A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke… totally . He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, so we need to all be able to spot the symptoms.
Q) Are there different types of strokes and apart from a blow to the head, how are they caused?
A) All brain cells need oxygen and it is supplied via the bloodstream. If the blood supply is interrupted, as in the case of a blood clot, the cells begin to die. The other cause of brain damage affected by the blood is when it is too thin and the blood vessels are too weak. When blood pressure is increased, the blood leaks out in between the brain cells and they die. Large patches of dead neurons kill each other in turn, when glutamate leaks out of them. We have spoken about the excitotoxicity of glutamate. MSG is a source of it but does not enter neurons in this form unless the blood brain barrier has been damaged. Within the brain glutamine is kept separate from sodium and only combines temporarily for a synaptic connection. We have 20 000 of these a second.
Q) When somebody hurts their head or gets concussed, how do we know it is not a stroke?
A) When in doubt, immediately contact a doctor or the emergency unit and they will give you advice online. With a blow to the head there can be other forms of brain damage. Mild traumatic brain injury may affect the brain cells temporarily. More-serious traumatic brain injury can result in bruising, torn tissues, bleeding and other physical damage to the brain. These injuries can result in long-term complications or death. Bleeding or clots cause strokes.
Link to more symptoms of concussion. Some are similar to strokes https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/traumatic-brain-injury/symptoms-causes/syc-20378557
Many people who have had a significant brain injury will experience changes in their thinking (cognitive) skills. It may be more difficult to focus and take longer to process your thoughts. Traumatic brain injury can result in these typical cognitive problems, if not immediately, then at a later stage, depending on what the brain damage was:
Memory, learning, Reasoning, Judgment, Poor attention or concentration, Beginning or completing tasks, Communication problems, Inability to organize thoughts and ideas
With concussion, as we have seen in the boxing ring, most recover, others get knocked out. Mahmud Ali the famous boxer received severe and repeated head injuries. They can lead to a higher risk of developing Parkinson’s disease but there is no real proof in this case. His dopamine function is impaired and this also happens to people who have nutritional deficiencies, especially vitamin B6. In some cases, drug s can also contribute to more advanced stages of Parkinson’s.