The American Heart Association estimates high blood pressure affects approximately one in three adults in the United States – 73 million people. High blood pressure is also estimated to affect about two million American teens and children, and the Journal of the American Medical Association reports that many are under-diagnosed. Hypertension is clearly a major public health problem. The blockage of an artery in the brain by a clot (thrombosis) is the most common cause of a stroke. The part of the brain that is supplied by the clotted blood vessel is then deprived of blood and oxygen. As a result of the deprived blood and oxygen, the cells of that part of the brain die. Typically, a clot forms in a small blood vessel within the brain that has been previously narrowed due to a variety of risk factors including:
From the American Stroke Association.
Learn To Recognize A Stroke Stroke is a medical emergency. Know these warning signs of stroke and teach them to others. Every second counts:
especially on one side of the body Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination Sudden, severe headache with no known cause
If you or someone with you has one or more of these signs, don’t delay! Immediately call 9-1-1 or the emergency medical services (EMS) number so an ambulance (ideally with advanced life support) can be sent for you. Also, check the time so you’ll know when the first symptoms appeared. It’s very important to take immediate action. If given within 3 hours of the start of symptoms, a clot-busting drug called tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) may reduce long-term disability for the most common type of stroke. tPA is the only FDA-approved medication for the treatment of stroke within three hours of stroke symptom onset.
A TIA or transient ischemic attack is a “warning stroke” or “mini-stroke” that produces stroke-like symptoms but no lasting damage. Recognizing and treating TIAs can reduce your risk of a major stroke. The usual TIA symptoms are the same as those of stroke, only temporary. The short duration of these symptoms and lack of permanent brain injury is the main difference between TIA and stroke.