Clinica Ricardo Palma is the only private health institution in Peru accredited to receive patients with Cerebrovascular Accidents (CVA), providing on-call neurological care twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week; in addition to providing specialized and subspecialized neurological consultations.
One in four people is at risk of having a stroke, claiming more than 6.6 million lives each year. A stroke happens when blood flow to part of the brain stops. This can be ischemic when the artery becomes occluded; or hemorrhagic, when the artery ruptures and the brain is flooded with blood. The latter is popularly known as a stroke. Ischemic stroke is the most frequent (85% of cases). On this occasion, Dr. Manuel Moquillaza, a neurologist at Clinica Ricardo Palma, will give us important information that will help us learn more about this condition.
- Stroke can be prevented. 75% of stroke cases can be prevented by acquiring a healthy lifestyle, thus controlling the neurovascular risk factors that can cause it, such as: arterial hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia, smoking, alcoholism, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, cardiovascular diseases, as well as drug use.
- The first hours of showing the symptoms are decisive. The sooner the stroke is recognized and treated, the fewer the neurological sequelae and the greater the degree of functional independence of the patient. Some of the symptoms to take into account are: facial asymmetry (one side of the face drooping), dysarthria (difficulty articulating words) and hemiparesis (condition that affects the strength of half of the body on the same side).
- It does not always leave sequelae. Well, the neurological sequelae are directly proportional to the speed at which the emergency is treated. Every minute of stroke, 2 million neurons die. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to act quickly as soon as the symptoms are noticed.
- Stroke occurs at any age. Although it is true, stroke is usually more frequent in older adults; however, it is possible to occur also in newborns, children, adolescents and adults. In recent years, the number of people aged 35 and over with stroke has increased considerably, due to unhealthy habits and little physical activity.
- Permanent stress is a triggering factor for stroke. Stress increases the level of cortisol in the blood. This hormone contributes to the elevation of blood pressure, the main modifiable risk factor for developing a stroke.
- Rehabilitation is effective. The sooner the rehabilitation process begins, the better the patient’s recovery will be. During the first three months is where the greatest results can be observed, but it is suggested that physical therapy be for a longer time to achieve maximum patient recovery.
- The chances of suffering a second stroke are high. Stroke can recur if it is not diagnosed and treated correctly, especially in the first month.
It is important to exercise regularly, have a balanced nutritional regimen, learn to manage anxiety and stress, avoid alcohol and tobacco use, and control underlying chronic diseases to prevent strokes. This disease is becoming more frequent in young adults due to the bad lifestyle they may be leading, so it is important to adopt a healthy lifestyle from childhood.
Dr. Manuel Moquillaza
Neurologist at Clínica Ricardo Palma