What is a STROKE?

I 3D printed this model of the brain from
CT Scans of patient who had recently had a stroke. These new technologies allow us to actually
show and demonstrate diseases like never before, enhancing the chance to inform patients, their
families and carers about a specific presentation, injury or disease. Printing the brain in particular is always
fascinating. It’s the most incredible and interesting organ
in the entire human body, and we have so much more to discover about how it works. The brain demands a very rich blood and nutrient
supply, which arrives via the connecting arteries. A stroke occurs when this blood supply to
the brain is interrupted. In this video, we’ll look at how this happens,
some of the risk factors, and what to do if you think someone around you may be having
a stroke. There are two ways that the brain’s blood
supply can be interrupted and result in a stroke. The first is through a blocked artery, called
an ischaemic stroke. This may be from a blood clot, or a cholesterol
plaque which blocks the vessels. The other type of stroke is from a burst artery
that bleeds into the brain, called a haemorrhagic stroke. When blood supply is interrupted through either
of these two methods, some brain cells may die quickly, yet others might last for hours
if there’s still some blood flowing around that area. As such, after a stroke the extent of damage
presents as what’s called a cerebral infarction, and which functions may be impacted can be
highly varied. This is why after a stroke a series of tests
and assessments are usually carried out. There are many ways that a stroke can affect
someone, and their recovery depends on different factors. These include the general health and level
of activity before the stroke; whether it was ischaemic or haemorrhagic; how much tissue
was damaged, and the location of that damage. For example, a common form of stroke is a
blockage of the middle cerebral artery, which is one of the brain’s largest, and this
can result in very widespread damage. However, there are many other arteries and
small vessels where only select regions and functions are impacted. For example, blood vessels blocking the rear
of the brain, the back of the brain, may result in eyesight and vision issues. Other strokes in different areas may result
in leg weakness for example, or sensory loss. There are also quite a range and variations
of various presentations. Now, warning signs include sudden weakness
or numbness of the face arms and legs, and most often on one side of the body. Speech may be impacted, sudden headaches,
dizziness or blurred vision can occur. Stroke is one of the leading causes of mortality,
so it is something to be aware of, and if you suspect someone is having a stroke, a
quick series of things to focus on are the face, arms and speech. Does one side of the face droop when they
smile. Can the person raise and hold both arms up. Is their speech slurred or strange, and if
so, call an ambulance as soon as possible, now just also note the time when the symptoms
appeared. Sometimes a stroke is preceded by what’s
called mini-strokes, so you might see some of these symptoms occurring, but it then gets
better. In these cases still seek immediate medical
care, as a stroke can often follow. Stroke risk does increase with age, it’s
also more common in males as well as some ethnic groups. But, there are some ways to reduce our general
risk, with it being said that up to 80% of strokes can be prevented. Reduce your stroke risk by eating a healthy
diet, maintaining a healthy weight, being active, don’t smoke, and drink alcohol in
moderation. But as always, having a healthy lifestyle
will not only reduce your stroke risk, but also leave you feeling better in the long

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