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WHO CARES: Chronic Illness in America
WHO CARES: Chronic Illness in America

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Stroke

Description: In a stroke, brain tissue is damaged due to lack of blood flow. There are two types of stroke: An ischemic stroke, accounting for 80 percent of all strokes, is caused by a blood clot in an artery narrowed by atherosclerosis; the second type, hemorrhagic stroke, occurs when an artery leaks blood.

Symptoms: Ischemic stroke includes the loss of feeling on one side of the face, in an arm or leg, or blindness in one eye; difficulty swallowing, speech problems, dizziness, vomiting, loss of muscle tone, major seizures and coma. Hemorrhagic strokes include headache, nausea and vomiting, altered mental states, sensitivity to light, neck stiffness, stupor, rigidity, and coma.

Number of Americans diagnosed: There are approximately 4 million stroke survivors.

Long-term problems/treatments: Some brain cells may be only temporarily damaged and will resume functioning. In some cases, the brain can reorganize its own functioning. Sometimes, a region of the brain, in effect, takes over for a region damaged by the stroke. General recovery patterns show that after experiencing stroke, 10 percent recover almost completely, 25 percent recover with minor impairments, 40 percent experience moderate to severe impairments requiring special care, ten percent require care in a nursing home or other long-term care facility, and 15 percent die shortly after.
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Resources

National Stroke Association

American Stroke Association

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke


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