Experts meet at Hyderabad for four-day World Stroke Congress

Stroke is devastating. Everyone can have a stroke.  For many people, the stroke happens suddenly and without warning. According to Stroke Association, when it happens, there is a little time to prepare. It can affect how one moves, feels and thinks.

Hyderabad is the host to World Stoke Congress.  Nearly 2200 stroke experts descended on the city to participate in a four-day conference.  The meeting begins just a few days before World Stroke Day, to be observed on October 29 every year.

What is a stroke? According to Dr. Jeyaraj Pandian, Co-Chair of the World Stoke Congress and a top stroke neurologist in India, a stroke is a brain attack.  It happens when the blood supply to part of the brain cuts off.

Blood carries essential nutrients and oxygen to the brain.  Without blood, brain cells can't work because of the damage.  They won't be able to perform their tasks.  

The brain is a critical part of the body. It controls the entire body. A stroke can affect the way body functions.

The brain also controls how one thinks, learns, feels and communicates.

The blood flow to the brain can be cut off by two ways—due to Blockage or a Bleeding.  Because of which strokes occur, which are of two types—01. Blockage and 02. Bleeding.

In 85 per cent cases stroke happens by a Blockage and reaming 15 per cent cases by Bleeding.

According to Stroke Association, some of the things that increase the risk of stroke cannot be changed are Gender(in people under 75, Men have more strokes than women); Age(you are more likely to have a stroke if you are over the age of 65). Family History (If a close relative has had an attack, risk is likely to be higher) and Ethnic Background(South Asian or African-Caribbean origin are at an increased risk).

BP, High Cholesterol, Type 2 Diabetes, Atrial Fibrillation(irregular beating of the heart), Heart disease, Smoking are some of the medical problems that can increase a risk of having a stroke.

Smokers are twice as likely to have a stroke, and this risk will increase more with more smoking. Stopping smoking will reduce the danger of a stroke.

Drinking too much alcohol raises blood pressure, which in turn causes a stoke.

The common effects of stroke are weakness or paralysis; speech and language problems, unsteadiness, difficulty with swallowing, suffer from extreme tiredness, may have a problem with sensation and much more such problems.

According to experts at the ongoing World Stroke Congress, many strokes can be prevented.  

The food that will help you save from stroke are fresh fruits, vegetables, and dried fruits and avoid junk food.

Choose low-fat proteins.  Eat plenty of fiber such as cereals, porridge, brown rice, whole wheat bread and pasta or grains such as couscous.  Cut down on the intake of salt. Watch your weight.

Keep active.  Do exercises. Warm up before and after exercise.  Find someone to exercise with you.

Stroke is the leading cause of disability and the second leading cause of death globally.

Stroke devastates lives around the world.  Over 17 million people around the world suffer a stroke every year and 6.5 million deaths happen.  5 million are permanently disabled.  Nearly 26 million inhabitants survive a stroke every year.

In India alone, 1.7 million new stroke cases occur every year. Stroke affects young people in India during their productive period of life.  The reasons for this are due to unorganized lifestyles and poor food habits. After stroke care significantly reduces the risk of death.

According to Dr, Jayaraj Pandian, the prevalence of the problem is 350 to 400 people per lakh population in India.

In Ludhiana, more youth are getting the stroke. Nearly 23 percent of the youth population is suffering from a stroke. That is due to unhealthy eating habits, stressful life.  Also, it is because today we have more youth population.

Stroke care infrastructure is developed mainly in private hospitals, but the vast majority of public hospitals are ill-equipped to treat stroke patients. The treatment expenses are borne by the patients and relatives and hence there is a huge economic burden on the family. The neighboring countries in South Asia also face a similar problem of a huge burden of stroke with an inadequate infrastructure to tackle the situation stated Dr. Jeyaraj Pandian the Congress Co-Chair from India.

Dr. C. Laxma Reddy, Minister for Health, Government of Telangana, while addressing the inauguration of World Stoke Congress, said TS Govt has established ICUs exclusively for stroke patients in all govt hospitals across Telangana state. We want government hospitals in the state to be stroke-ready hospitals he said.

The right care makes a difference, but many people are not getting the stroke treatment they need. According to World Stroke Campaign by the World Stroke Organisation, there are six key facts about stroke treatment

1.Early recognition makes a big difference.  Knowing the signs of stroke and getting treatment saves lives and improves recovery.

2.  1 in 10 people makes an excellent recovery when cared for in a specialized stroke unit.

3. Clot-busting drugs (tPA or thrombolysis) increase the chance of a good outcome by  30%. Clot-busting drugs break up blood clots. This treatment can be administered up to 4.5 hours of symptom onset in many patients with ischaemic stroke. The earlier it is given, the greater the effect.

4. Clot retrieval treatment increases the chance of a good outcome by more than 50%.  Clot retrieval treatment (mechanical thrombectomy) involves removing a blood clot  and can improve survival rates and reduce disability

5. Recovery is a critical step in the treatment process. Rehabilitation starts in the hospital as soon as possible following a stroke.

6. One in four survivors will have another stroke. Treatments that prevent another stroke include drugs to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, antiplatelet therapies, anticoagulation for atrial fibrillation, surgery or stenting for selected patients with severe carotid artery narrowing.

Lifestyle changes can also substantially reduce the risk of another stroke. Changes include eating well, being physically active, being tobacco-free, managing stress, and limiting alcohol consumption.

Stroke is treatable.  One must gain more awareness to save from devastating stroke effect.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News-Medical.Net.
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