Healthcare Tips

A Stroke of Genius: Protecting Yourself from Brain Injuries

February 28, 2024

Most people hear the phrase “brain injury” and think of traumatic head injuries like concussions. But did you know a stroke is another form of brain injury that can be just as dangerous as concussions? According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke each year, and 87% of these strokes are ischemic, which means they were caused by blood flow blockages in the brain.

How Do I Recognize the Signs of a Stroke?

According to Dr. Josh East, a neurologist for Hancock Health, strokes are recognizable through several symptoms, including numbness, leg weakness, or vision loss on one side of the body. But an easy way to remember symptoms of a stroke can be memorized through the mnemonic device F.A.S.T.: 

F: Face drooping. Are the muscles on one side of the face relaxing? Is it difficult to move one side of the face? 

A: Arm weakness. Is it difficult for the person to move their arm? Can they flex their fingers properly? 

S: Speech difficulty. Is the person in question having a difficult time saying words, or even recalling correct words? Are they slurring their words when they speak? 

T: Time to call 911. If you or a loved one experiences any of the above symptoms, it’s highly likely you’ve suffered a stroke, and it’s time to get to the hospital as quickly as possible. 

“Quick intervention is one of the most important factors in treating a stroke,” said Dr. East. “The sooner you receive care, the more likely you are to have a positive outcome.”

How Can I Prevent and Treat Strokes?

According to Dr. East, the best treatment for stroke is prevention. 

“High blood pressure, or hypertension, is the biggest risk factor for stroke,” said Dr. East. “So regular appointments with your primary care provider to screen for and treat hypertension are very important in reducing your risk for stroke.” 

Since the majority of strokes are caused by blood clots preventing blood flow to the brain, Dr. East also suggested managing and treating any other medical issues such as diabetes and high cholesterol, which can impact blood flow. Heart conditions such as atrial fibrillation or heart failure are also very important to address. 

“If you smoke, quitting can lower your risk of stroke,” said Dr. East. “Lastly, a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced, healthy diet and regular physical exercise have been shown to reduce stroke risk.” 

If you’re concerned about your risks of stroke, or you have another concern related to brain injury, Hancock Neurology is here for you. Call our offices today at 317-477-6387 to schedule an appointment.

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