ICTUS: the importance of time

Recognition of symptoms and control of risk factors is often vital to treat this problem early.

Stroke is one of the most lethal diseases in the world, being the leading medical cause of disability. It affects 17 million people annually and affects one in six people in their lifetime.

Control of risk factors and symptoms

The control of risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, high cholesterol, healthy lifestyle habits such as a Mediterranean diet, physical exercise and the detection of a cardiac arrhythmia can prevent its onset.

It is vital to act quickly because the patient usually does not have the tools to alert others, so it is important to recognize the symptoms. The main alarms are inability or difficulty speaking, deviation of the mouth, and loss of strength in the extremities on one side of the body.

“Alarms: inability or difficulty speaking, mouth deviation and/or loss of strength.”

Time is brain!

As time goes by, brain cells progressively die and end up causing an irreversible infarction. CT or MRI scans make it possible to visualize the area that is not receiving blood and the damaged area. Thus, we can quantify the intermediate zone that can be saved if blood flow is quickly restored.

In the image above we see on the left, in red, the cerebral area without blood flow in a patient with a 2-hour stroke. On the right we see recovery after thrombectomy.

The administration of venous drugs capable of dissolving the clot or removing it by means of a catheter increases the probability of recovery by almost 3 times. This treatment should be administered as soon as possible within 6 hours from the onset of symptoms.

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For more information, consult a Neurosurgery specialist.