Principal Director & HOD
The Brain Stroke Unit at the BLK-Max Super Speciality Hospital is a part of the Centre of Neurosciences and is a specialised unit that provides full prevention, treatment and rehabilitation services, giving hope to stroke patients.
Our unit has a dedicated brain stroke care team which follows a multidisciplinary approach and works closely with other departments at the hospital to provide the best comprehensive care. We make sure that every patient under our care receives a high standard of brain stroke management services while having treatment at our unit.
Brain Strokes (also known as a Cerebrovascular condition) are brain attacks that affect the blood vessels of the brain. They occur when the blood supply to the brain becomes blocked. It is rated as the second-highest cause of death and disability(after cancer), in non-communicable diseases.
In fact, the risk for brain stroke is quite high among the Indian population and is as high as 800 per 100,000 people and the actual incidence is increasing considerably. Generally, there are three types of strokes:
Ischemic Stroke: It occurs due to a blood clot that restricts the blood and oxygen from reaching the brain.
Haemorrhagic Stroke: It occurs when the weakened blood vessel ruptures as aneurysms or arteriovenous malformations (AVMs).
Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIAs): Also called mini-stroke occurs when blood fails to flow in a different part of the brain. However, it may reduce after a short amount of time.
The Major Signs And Brain Stroke Symptoms Which Reflect The Probability Of Having A Stroke Involve:
The trouble with speaking and understanding
Paralysis or numbness of the face, arm or leg (often in one side of the body)
The trouble with seeing in one or both eyes (sudden blurriness or blackened vision)
A sudden, severe headache (accompanied by vomiting, dizziness or altered consciousness)
The trouble with walking (experience, loss of balance/coordination or sudden dizziness)
In addition to the persistence of the problems listed above, a patient may also experience:
Bladder or bowel control problems
Pain in the feet and hands (that gets worse with movement)
Trouble controlling or expressing emotions
Some of the diagnostic tests that your doctor might as you take in order to evaluate your current medical condition involved:
- For bleeding or clotting disorders
- Measure the blood flow
- Measure mental function
Cerebral angiogram (a procedure done to investigate various abnormalities of the blood vessels in the brain)
Positron emission tomography (PET) or PET-CT scan
The surgeons at BLK-MAX Centre for neurosciences will treat patients with serious conditions related to Stroke. The treatment might require clot-busting drugs or angioplasty of the brain vessels in a Cath Lab. Other treatments for brain stroke include:
In the case of a haemorrhagic stroke, the treatment will depend upon the cause of the stroke. The major types of stroke causes are:
Aneurysm Treatment Method: In endovascular coiling, a very thin metal wire is inserted inside the brain aneurysm, through a miniature catheter, by a highly experienced neurosurgeon. This microcatheter is navigated through the web of brain arteries under image guidance in a cath lab. Once the catheter reaches the desired location, a series of handmade coils are placed inside the aneurysm and detached from outside the body. These small coils form a coil mass which blocks the blood flow to the aneurysm and subsequently lead to the healing of the artery.
Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM) Treatment Method: An Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM) is an abnormal collection of blood vessels occurring within the brain itself. In an AVM, there is a sort of short circuit which causes the blood to travel rapidly from the arteries directly into the veins. This can lead to a pressure build-up and cause bleeding from the AVM or the veins, which do not have enough support in their walls. Patients can be asymptomatic or may suffer from headaches, seizures, or deterioration of neurologic functions. If haemorrhage occurs, patients may experience severe headaches, stroke-like symptoms, or even loss of consciousness. The treatment of AVMs may include surgical excision, radiation treatment, or embolisation. In most cases, embolisation is used to block the blood supply to the AVMs, making the treatment safe. In 70% of the cases, embolisation may fully treat a lesion. In some cases, patients might have to undergo a surgical resection or radiation therapy to complete the treatment
Carotid Disease (Stenosis) Treatment Method: In recent years, the use of Angioplasty and Stenting for treating cerebrovascular diseases has grown immensely. Patients with more than 70% symptomatic carotid stenosis are the ones who greatly benefit from this intervention procedure. Patients may also have a history of a previous stroke or Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIAs). This procedure is performed under monitored anaesthetic care with the patient sedated or under general anaesthesia, depending on their medical condition, making it a highly personalised treatment.
Tumour Embolization: There are several groups of patients in whom bleeding from a tumour needs to be controlled. This may include pre-operative treatment of the neck masses (paragangliomas and juvenile angiofibromas) or skull base lesions (meningiomas) to decrease the time and risk of surgery. Patients with epistaxis, i.e. persistent severe nose bleeding, may also benefit from tumour embolisation
All the above procedures are called neuro-intervention procedures and are done in a Neurovascular Cath Lab.
In the case of Ischemic Stroke:
Stroke Therapy Treatment Method: The incidences of serious stroke-related, long-term disabilities are rising every year. The current emphasis is on recognizing strokes as early as possible, and all attempts are made to open clogged arteries to prevent the loss of brain neurons. The earlier the endovascular treatment is performed, the better the outcome. This is done by using a clot-removing device, which traps and removes a clot from the artery of the brain in a cath lab. This procedure's functional outcomes are significantly better compared to traditional treatment of brain stroke.
The Important Precautionary Measures One Must Consider Taking After The Treatment of Brain Stroke:
Take all the medications prescribed by the doctors
Eat a very healthy diet including fresh veggies and fruits
Avoid the use of tobacco and excessive smoking
Heavy consumption of alcohol is prohibited
Visit your doctor for regular check-ups in the outpatient clinics
Keep your blood pressure under control
Manage your diabetes level to normal
Treat obstructive sleep apnoea
Exercise regularly-start with a mild brisk walking and increase it slowly
Some of the Risk Factors Associated with Brain Stroke Treatment include:
Increase in blood sugar level
Challenge in thinking, remembering, and recognising things
Physical Conditions Post Brain Stroke Treatment Include:
These risk factors are very mild and usually reversible with adjustments in stimulation or with the help of some medication. However, if the patient experiences these brain stroke symptoms for a longer duration then he must see a doctor immediately.
A doctor will evaluate the patient for the current medical condition with the help of diagnostic tests results and will customise a treatment plan accordingly. However, the chance that a patient will experience stroke increases if a patient is:
Aged 55 years or older
Have an inactive lifestyle
Alcoholic, smoke or use illicit drugs
Holds a personal or family history of stroke
The conditions get worse if the patient has any of the below medical conditions:
Deranged lipid levels
Polycystic kidney diseases
Excess of homocysteine in the blood
History of transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), also called mini-strokes