Stroke – Risk Factors & Prevention

Stroke is the leading cause of adult disability and the world’s second leading cause of death. It is the second leading cause of disability in the UAE, after traffic accidents. Every year, 8,000 to 10,000 patients in the UAE suffer from stroke, equating to one every hour.

The good news is that there are treatments that can significantly reduce the damage caused by a stroke. However, you must recognize the symptoms and get to a hospital as soon as possible. 

Getting treatment within 6 hours can save your life.

What Exactly is a Stroke?

A stroke, also known as a “brain attack,” occurs when blood flow to the brain is disrupted. When it occurs, brain cells in direct proximity begin to die due to a lack of oxygen and nutrients.

What Exactly Causes a Stroke?

There are two types of stroke. The first type is, ischemic stroke, is caused by a blood clot blocking or plugging a blood vessel or artery in the brain. Ischemic strokes are responsible for roughly 80% of all strokes. The second type is, known as a hemorrhagic stroke, is caused by a blood vessel in the brain breaking and leaking into the brain. Hemorrhagic strokes account for roughly 20% of all strokes.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of a Stroke?

The symptoms are distinct because they occur quickly.

  • Numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg that occurs suddenly (especially on one side of the body)
  • Unexpected confusion, difficulty speaking or understanding speech
  • Sudden difficulty seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden difficulty walking, dizziness, loss of balance, or coordination
  • Unknown cause of a severe headache

What are the Risk Factors?

Certain risk factors increase a person’s chances of having a stroke.

  • Blood pressure is high.
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Obesity is a problem.
  • Using cigarettes
  • Consumption of alcoholic beverages
  • Atrioventricular fibrillation
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Physical Idleness
  • Stenosis of the carotid artery

Why Should You Act Fast?

Time is the brain. Because a one-minute delay in treatment results in the death of 1.9 million neurons, “time lost is brain lost.” The most common type which is, ischemic stroke, can be treated with tPA, which dissolves blood clots obstructing blood flow to the brain. There is a 6-hour window to begin the treatment.

What is the Benefit of Treatment?

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) five-year study, stroke patients who received t-PA within four and a half hours of the onset of symptoms were at least 30% more likely to recover with little or no disability after three months.

What Role Does Endovascular Intervention Play in Stroke?

Suppose a patient’s symptoms appear within 12 hours of onset and have a large artery block. In that case, they should undergo mechanical thrombectomy, which has a 50% chance of recovery with little or no disability after three months (2019 Guidelines for Management of AIS).

What Precisely is Mechanical Thrombectomy?

Mechanical thrombectomy is an endovascular procedure that removes a thrombus (clot) obstructing the blood vessels that supply the brain. This procedure restores blood flow quickly.

How Can I Lower My Chances of Having a Stroke?

Quit smoking if you smoke. Get your blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and cholesterol under control if you have them. Start a healthy diet and exercise regularly if you are overweight. Screening tests such as Carotid vertebral Doppler, 2D Echo, and ECG are available.

Stroke is a serious and potentially life-threatening medical condition. The faster you receive treatment, the better your chances are of a full recovery.

At Burjeel Hospital, we provide comprehensive care for stroke 24/7. Our expert neurologist treats stroke patients with cutting-edge technology and state-of-the-art facilities to ensure they receive the best treatment possible. We are committed to providing our patients with excellent service and quality care so they can recover quickly and live their lives to the fullest.


Our Expert Neurologist


Dr. Halprashanth D.S

Consultant Neurology

Years of Experience : 11

Nationality : India

Languages Known : English, Urdu, Hindi, Kannada, Tamil

Burjeel Hospital, Abu Dhabi

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