Strokes are attacks on the brain

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Chaka Fattah

What lengths would you take to prevent an attack on the arteries in your brain? 

For many of us, without even realizing it, we leave our defenses down carelessly inviting the 5th leading cause of death, a brain stroke. This attack on the brain should be of particular concern to the African American community. African Americans are 50 percent more likely to experience a stroke than their white counterparts. In addition, African American men are 70 percent more likely than their white counterparts to die from strokes. 

Averting the long-term negative effects to the brain caused by a stroke is a life and death race against time. Education, intervention, and prevention are vital to save the lives of our loved ones. The inability to recognize the symptoms of a stroke could be the difference between a successful recovery or months of rehab or death

Important facts

There are an estimated 15 million stroke victims worldwide. Of that total, five million died and another five million were permanently disabled. 

In the United States, there are unfortunately more than 800,000 strokes annually. Residents in the southeast part of the country (including Mississippi) have a 15 percent higher rate of stroke and a 35 percent higher death rate from stroke. 

What exactly is a stroke?

Most strokes are Ischemic Strokes. That means that the blood vessels become narrowed or blocked causing reduced blood flow to the brain. With that uninterrupted flow of blood, the brain experiences trauma. That trauma can make it difficult for people to perform critical daily functions and possibly affect their quality of life. 

Another stroke category, Hemorrhagic Stroke, is caused when a blood vessel in the brain leaks. The blood vessel could also rupture due to trauma or uncontrolled blood pressure (or overtreatment of blood thinners). 

What are the symptoms of a stroke?

When someone is having a stroke, it’s often hard for them to express the symptoms. However, visible signs may be obvious. For example, slurring of speech, partial paralysis, or numbness on one side are common symptoms. Also, people who are experiencing an extreme headache, or trouble walking, may also be experiencing a stroke. 

What to do if someone

is experiencing a stroke?

When someone is experiencing a stroke, it is very important that, when you are contacting the hospital or health professionals, that you alert them ahead of arrival, that the person may be experiencing a stroke. Time is of the essence as stroke victims may be in the process of losing millions of neurons in the brain. Getting the person immediately to the hospital, quickly with an advance warning, should be the number one priority.

Prevention – a solid defense

for preventing strokes

There are ways that we can help ourselves, and others we love, reduce the possibility of having a stroke. For example, get plenty of exercise, drink alcohol in moderation, and keep your weight down to a healthy level. Also, reducing fried foods and eating plenty of fruits and vegetables will strengthen your anti-stroke defenses. To prevent an attack on the brain, life-changing implementation of education and prevention is necessary to ensure our positive quality of life.

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Strokes are attacks on the brain

By Jackson Advocate News Service
February 14, 2022