The saddest brainstorm
clot-busters to the rescue?
Strokes are no laughing matter: In the United States, they are the number-three cause of death; in 1997, they killed 160,000 people.
Between 600,000 and 750,000 Americans have a stroke each year. Another 500,000 mini-strokes, called transient ischemic attacks, briefly produce stroke symptoms. A recent study indicates that the rate of strokes has begun rising after a period of decline.
Strokes kill brain cells. Depending on where in the brain they occur, they can destroy just about any brain function. For stroke survivors, the odds of permanent disability range from 15 to 30 percent. With an estimated 4.4 million survivors in the United States alone, you can understand why strokes are called the biggest cause of serious, long-term disability.
About 20 percent of strokes occur when a brain artery breaks, causing massive bleeding, and often death. We'll focus on the remaining 80 percent: strokes that follow the clogging of an artery delivering blood to the brain.
treatment is possible
There are two reasons for haste: Brain cells quickly die without oxygen and sugar delivered by blood. And the only drug available for treating stroke in the United States stops working three hours after the blockage starts.
If you feel the above symptoms, call an ambulance or rush to an emergency room. Delay is risky! Acting fast can save your brain cells.
Every 53 seconds, there's another stroke in the United States. Who is struck by stroke?
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