What is a Stroke? What are different methods of treatment available for a stroke
Stroke refers to a condition of body in medical terms under which the cells of brain become inactive or pass away unexpectedly. It is due to lack of oxygen which is mostly caused by blockage in the flow of blood to the brain. Another reason is due to breakage of an artery that nourishes the brain with blood supply and oxygen. As a result, the patient may lose the ability to speak abruptly. He may also face some memory problems and become paralyzed on one side of the body. Different treatment methods are available to treat various types of strokes.
Treatment with drug known as t-PA- The foremost and the easiest way to treat a stroke is by using a drug called t-PA. It helps in dissolving the clots of blood formed in the body which obstruct flow of blood to the brain. But this treatment works well only when the patient gets it within one hour of the commencement of symptoms of stroke. This type of treatment is mostly given to patients who have experienced ischemic stroke.
Use of Aspirin- In case, treatment through t-PA is not possible due to certain medical problems with the patient; the patients are given anti-platelet medicine such as aspirin. It must be given within 2 days of the starting of the symptoms of stroke. Such medicines help in stopping platelets to make blood clots by clustering together. Alternatively, anticoagulants or blood thinners are also prescribed for such patients. These medicines aim at controlling the size of already produced blood clots as well as prevention of formation of new clots.
Treatment through prevention- It is perhaps the best method to treat the potential stroke. It helps in minimizing the risk of stroke by lowering high blood pressure. Other ways are by changing lifestyle and medication. Sticking to a balanced and healthy diet and avoiding smoking are other best ways to prevent a stroke. Diabetic patients need to pay attention to their diet specifically as they are more prone to risk.
Medical treatments– These include opening of the obstructed carotid arteries and are recommended for patients suffering from carotid artery disease. There are different methods to open blocked carotid arteries including carotid artery angioplasty or carotid endarterectomy.
Removal of clot from brain– It is done by using treatments such as MERCI or mechanical removal of clot in cerebral ischemia and intra-arterial thrombolysis.
The MERCI treatment involves removal of blood clots from an artery by using a thin tube which is attached via a carotid artery to the clot-containing artery of the brain. The blood clot is pulled out via thin tube.
On the other hand, intra-arterial thrombolysis involves delivery of medicine to break up the blood clot in the brain using a long flexible tube. This tube is introduced into your groin and attached to the small arteries of the brain.
There are some other treatments as well and may given under certain medical conditions.