Stroke (or apoplexy) is defined as ‘rapid disturbance of cerebral function lasting for more than 24 hours or producing death due to vascular lesion’. The vascular lesion may be:
1. Occlusion in the form of cerebral thrombosis or embolism.
2. Rupture leading to sub – arachnoid hemorrhage or cerebral hemorrhage.
The neurological manifestations of stroke may occur in the form of hemiplegia, paraplegia, paralysis, speech disturbances or sensory loss.
The risk factors of stroke are:
1. Diabetes and hypertension.
2. Obesity and increased fat intake
3. Increased viscosity and clotting of blood.
4. Alcohol and smoking
5. Ingestion of oral contraceptives.
Prevention and control
1. The first step is control of hypertension.
2. Control of diabetes.
3. Diet regulation and avoidance of fatty food.
4. Treatment of acute stroke and follow up.
5. Health education to create awareness about stroke and its causes.