Stroke is a medical emergency that affects the arteries supplying oxygen rich blood to the brain and can take place over minutes to hours. 2 million neurons are lost every minute and 4 years of brain aging occurs with every passing hour. As such, time is brain and urgent attention is required. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel is blocked (ischemic) accounting for 80% of cases, or ruptured (hemorrhage) in the balance 20%. When this happens, brain cells are deprived of oxygen and begin to die.
Individuals who are susceptible to having a stroke are those who have any of the following conditions:
- Cigarette smoking
- High cholesterol levels
- Family history of young stroke
- Cardiac conditions (Atrial fibrillation, valvular disease)
- Rare blood clotting disorders