Top 5 Takeaways on Stroke

Dr. Eric Adelman's Mini Med School presentation focuses on stroke prevention and treatment

mini_med_school_cardiovascular_graphic stroke BlogLeading U-M Frankel CVC researchers and physicians are advancing knowledge, finding new treatments and applying new technologies. Each week one of them shared his or her expertise in a six-week Mini Med School community education program focused on cardiovascular topics.

Here are the Top 5 Takeaways from Dr. Eric Adelman’s Mini Med School presentation on Stroke Prevention and Treatment:

1. Know the signs of stroke

Brain damage can begin within minutes of experiencing a stroke, so it’s important to know the signs of stroke and to seek immediate treatment by calling 911. Rapid treatment can significantly improve your outcome.

Common stroke symptoms experienced by both men and women include:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg, particularly on one side of the body.
  • Sudden trouble speaking or understanding.
  • Sudden trouble walking or difficulty with balance or coordination or dizziness.
  • Sudden difficulty seeing or double vision.
  • Sudden severe headache without a clear cause.

FAST (Face drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty, Time to call 911) is an easy way to remember the sudden signs of a stroke. When you spot the signs, call 911 for help.

2. Maintain a healthy blood pressure

Half of all strokes are attributed to high blood pressure. If individuals with high blood pressure can drop the top number of their blood pressure reading by 10 points, they can reduce their risk of stroke by 25 to 30 percent. Most people need medication to lower their blood pressure, but lifestyle factors can also play a role. Don’t smoke, get regular exercise, eat a healthy diet (e.g., Mediterranean diet) and try to avoid added salt.

3. Afib is a risk factor

Individuals with atrial fibrillation (Afib) have an increased risk of stroke, so it’s important to take your medication (warfarin or other anti-coagulant) on a regular basis to help reduce your risk of stroke.

4. Prevention is key

It’s much easier to prevent a stroke than to treat one, so be proactive if you have certain risk factors. For example, if you have diabetes, take the necessary steps to control it. Make sure your cholesterol is well-managed. And keep your blood pressure under control.

5. New device to treat stroke

A new type of device known as a stent retriever has shown tremendous promise in treating stroke patients. Stents, similar to the ones used to open clogged heart arteries, are being used to clear a blood clot in the brain, reducing the amount of disability after a stroke. The stent is temporarily inserted via catheter through the groin to flatten the clot and trap it, and is then removed with the clot. The stent retriever procedure is used for patients with severe strokes.

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Adelman_eric150x150Dr. Eric Adelman is assistant professor of neurology at the University of Michigan and co-director of the U-M Comprehensive Stroke Center. He received his medical degree from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

 

 

 

Frankel-informal-vertical-sigThe University of Michigan Samuel and Jean Frankel Cardiovascular Center is a top-ranked heart and heart surgery program among Michigan hospitals. To learn more, visit our website at umcvc.org. The U-M Stroke Program is accredited as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by the Joint Commission and participates in the American Stroke Association “Get With The Guidelines®” Quality Initiative.

Honor “Mr. Hockey” by sharpening your stroke knowledge

Gordie Howe's severe stroke should remind all fans of what they can do to cut risk & respond quickly, says U-M Comprehensive Stroke Program doctor

Gordie Howe

Gordie Howe, at the December 2013 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic in Detroit.

Hockey fans everywhere are sending their thoughts and prayers to Gordie Howe this week, as the legendary “Mr. Hockey” battles the effects of a stroke.

But there’s something more that all fans, and their loved ones, can do to honor Howe, says the head of the University of Michigan’s Comprehensive Stroke Program.

Take this time to play defense against a stroke, and know what to do when you or someone around you suffers one.

Eric Adelman, M.D., the U-M stroke neurologist who helps lead a U-M team that has the highest level of stroke accreditation in the U.S., took a moment to discuss what fans can do. Continue reading

Stroke treatment options

Time is critical: Get help quickly

Stroke 320x320Approximately 795,000 Americans each year suffer a new or recurrent stroke. On average, a stroke occurs every 45 seconds. Stroke is the third leading cause of death and disability in the world.

A stroke-related death occurs every 4 minutes within the United States. Stroke encompasses not only patients that have blockages of their brain arteries but also those patients who have bleeding within the brain. Because of the destructive nature of stroke, it is important to take advantage of effective stroke treatment options by getting to an emergency room as quickly as possible.

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