According to statistics, every 2 seconds a stroke occurs in the world, and one person dies from it every 6 seconds. In USA, only 25-30% of patients are admitted to hospitals during the golden hour. In Western Europe, 70-80% of stroke patients are admitted to clinics during this period.

In USA, more than 400 thousand people suffer a stroke every year. Can you protect yourself from a stroke? At what age does the blow more often overtake and is it true that the disease has become younger?

Tells Chief Freelance Neurologist of the Ministry of Health , Director of the Institute of Cerebrovascular Pathology and Stroke of the Federal Center for Brain and Neurotechnologies of the Federal Medical and Biological Agency of Russia Professor Nikolai Shamalov.

– Stroke – a violation of cerebral circulation – is not a separate disease, but a combination of clinical signs, which is characteristic of various forms of cerebral circulation disorders. In addition to stroke, cerebrovascular accidents include transient ischemic attacks (TIA). These are short-term disorders of the type of ischemic stroke, which pass without a trace in a short time. They are popularly called “microstrokes”, although TIA is no less dangerous a condition than a stroke. Therefore, approaches to treatment should be the same – from calling an ambulance to hospital treatment and subsequent prevention of recurrent stroke.

Dissolve and remove

Lidia Yudina, : What form of stroke is more common?

There are two forms of stroke – ischemic (in which there is a blockage of the artery that supplies blood to a particular part of the brain, it accounts for 85% of strokes) and hemorrhagic (rupture of the vessel and subsequent intracerebral hemorrhage). These are completely different situations in terms of the mechanism of development, which clinically manifest themselves in the same way. By eye, even the most experienced neurologist cannot distinguish one stroke from another.

Making an accurate diagnosis is the task of the hospital, which admits all patients with stroke symptoms. There, they undergo a CT or magnetic resonance imaging, which allows you to determine the type of stroke. In our country, there are more than 600 departments for patients with acute cerebral circulation disorders, which are part of the structure of vascular centers.

If the patient arrives in the first hours after the onset of the disease (that is, during the “golden hour” or therapeutic window), there is a good chance that he will be able to effectively help (especially when it comes to ischemic stroke with blockage of the artery).

There are different treatment approaches for this. The thrombus can be dissolved (perform a thrombolysis procedure) or removed surgically (endovascularly, using special devices). A combination of these methods is also possible – first, the thrombus is dissolved, then they proceed to surgical intervention.

But the more time passes, the higher the likelihood of complications and the more difficult and longer the further rehabilitation will be.

We are actively working, talking about the first signs of a stroke and the importance of seeking help early, butin world only 25-30% of patients are admitted to hospitals during the “golden hour” (for comparison, in the West during this period 70-80 % of stroke patients). Therefore, 5.5% of stroke patients receive thrombolytic drugs in our country, and about 10% in Western Europe.

Hope for children

— How to change the situation?

— We came to the conclusion that it is necessary to educate not only adults. The average age of a patient with a stroke is 68-69 years, and the stroke of the patient is overtaken mainly in the daytime, when grandchildren are next to grandparents. Children need to know how to behave in such situations. For this, there are educational cartoons and videos that, without frightening, explain to them the correct algorithm of actions.

– Is it true that strokes are younger?

It is a myth. The average age of patients with stroke in our country is increasing (albeit slightly). Worldwide data suggest that the proportion of patients with stroke younger than 45 does not exceed 4-6%. Until recently, it was difficult to recognize a stroke at a young age. Today, when the diagnostic capabilities of neurologists have improved, it has become clear that what we often took for other diseases was actually a stroke.

Do women have more strokes?

– Men and women suffer from a stroke with approximately the same frequency, but it overtakes women a little later.

Are there ways to prevent the disease?

– Prevention of stroke includes a healthy lifestyle, a balanced diet (the Mediterranean diet is especially useful, which includes a large number of vegetables and fruits), physical activity (aerobic exercise is recommended) and smoking cessation. It is advisable to reduce salt intake. It is also important to know your blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol levels. If they exceed the norm, take appropriate medications (and for this you need to visit a doctor regularly).