Five “sud­den symp­toms” of stroke: Rec­og­niz­ing th­ese could save a life – even a young life

Wellness Update - - Health News -

LOS AN­GE­LES. – Stroke is the fourth-lead­ing cause of death in the United States. Each year an es­ti­mated 795,000 peo­ple in this coun­try ex­pe­ri­ence a stroke. Stroke is also the No. 1 cause of adult dis­abil­ity and it is no longer a dis­ease only of the el­derly. Nearly 20 per­cent of strokes oc­cur in peo­ple younger than age 55, and over the past decade, the aver­age age at stroke oc­cur­rence has dropped from 71 to 69. “The good news,” says Pa­trick D. Ly­den, MD, chair of Neu­rol­ogy and di­rec­tor of the Stroke Pro­gram at Cedars-Si­nai Med­i­cal Cen­ter, “is that quickly rec­og­niz­ing the signs of stroke and seek­ing im­me­di­ate med­i­cal care from stroke spe­cial­ists can min­i­mize the ef­fects of the dis­ease or even save a life. And just as im­por­tant as know­ing the symp­toms is the knowl­edge that re­gard­less of an in­di­vid­ual’s age, those symp­toms need to be treated as the emer­gency that they are.” It is im­por­tant to em­pha­size the words “sud­den” and “se­vere” and the num­ber “one.” Any of th­ese symp­toms can oc­cur in a mild, fleet­ing way and not be wor­ri­some, but if any one of them comes on sud­denly and is quite se­vere, it could sig­nal the onset of a stroke, which in­creas­ingly is de­scribed as a “brain at­tack,” be­cause like a heart at­tack, a stroke re­quires im­me­di­ate ac­tion to im­prove the odds against dis­abil­ity and death.

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