Stroke Awareness Month
May is a special month for our institute because it's Stroke Awareness Month.
Koroshetz: May is a special month for our institute because it's Stroke Awareness Month.
Akinso: Dr. Walter Koroshetz is the Deputy Director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
Koroshetz: Stroke is a major problem in the United States throughout the world and it's an amazing opportunity to get the message out both in terms of prevention and treatment of stroke.
Akinso: Dr. Koroshetz defines a stroke.
Koroshetz: Stroke is due to a vascular accident inside the brain. They're two main types. One is a vascular blood vessel that becomes blocked, that's called an ischemic stroke. And the other one is when a blood vessel burst causing bleeding into the brain, that's called a hemorrhagic stroke.
Akinso: Each year in the United States, there are more than 780,000 strokes. Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the country and causes more serious long-term disabilities than any other disease. Nearly three-quarters of all strokes occur in people over the age of 65 and the risk of having a stroke more than doubles each decade after the age of 55. He points out some of the signs and symptoms of a stroke.
Koroshetz: If the blood vessel that's going to your speech area becomes blocked by a clot of blood, that's a stroke. And the symptoms will be that, that brain area which sub-serves language will not work and all of a sudden you'll be unable to talk or unable to understand what people say to you because that brain area stops working. If you have a blood vessel that burse in the part of the brain where the wires are-that go down and control the function of your muscles in your arm, you'll become paralyzed in that arm. So the symptoms and signs depend on where in the brain the trouble lies but there all very sudden onset and it's the loss of an ability to do something that you could do a second ago.
Akinso: Dr. Koroshetz offers tips to prevent a stroke.
Koroshetz: Diet and exercise and trying to keep your weight in range of your ideal body weight, these are all things we think will prevent strokes in the long run.
Akinso: Dr. Koroshetz adds that the NINDS has a wide range of materials and useful information to offer.
Koroshetz: The NINDS is a very active program in education about stroke. We have our own website www.stroke.ninds.nih.gov. We have materials that are relevant to the lay public to understand the stroke risk and how to decrease their risk, on how to know when their developing the warning signs of a stroke. We also have materials for physicians to help them in their care of patients and in their research.
Akinso: In addition if you would like to join a clinical trial which deals with stroke, you can go to the NINDS's stroke website or visit www.clinicaltrials.gov. This is Wally Akinso at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.
About This Audio Report
Reporter: Wally Akinso
Sound Bite: Dr. Walter Koroshetz