A stroke or CVA may be defined as a disorder involving a sudden, focal interruption of cerebral blood flow that results in a neurological deficit.
A transient stroke or Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) is differentiated from a CVA by virtue of neurological symptoms typically lasting less than 1 hour and without evidence of cerebral infarction (permanent brain cell damage) arising from a partially blocked artery.
A stroke involves the arteries of the brain, either the anterior circulation (internal carotid) or posterior circulation (branches of the vertebral or basilar arteries) and are the 4th most common cause of death and the most common cause of neurologic disability in adults.
The symptoms associated with a stoke may be related to the area of the brain injured. The diagram on the right depicts the areas of the brain, and their function. For example, and area of injury overlying the posterior left frontal lobe will result in an impairment of speech function as the Motor speech area of Broca is located in this area.
- Manage high blood pressure or high cholesterol by working with your doctor.
- Manage diabetes. Keep your blood sugar levels within a target range.
- If your doctor recommends that you take aspirin or a blood thinner, take it. This can help prevent a stroke.
- Take your medicine exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor if you think you are having a problem with your medicine.
- Don't smoke or allow those around you to smoke.
- Limit alcohol to 2 drinks a day for men, and 1 drink a day for woman.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Do activities that raise your heart rate. Get at least 30min of exercise on most days of the week.
- Eat heart healthy foods, including: fruits, vegetables, high-fiber foods, and foods low in sodium, saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol.