Strokes are beatable but don't ignore the brain

The message is simple and alarming - in India,  the number of strokes is increasing and it is not wrong to say that it is lifestyle related. (File Photo)

Don't ignore the brain - take care of the grey cells like the way you take care of your heart. The message is simple and alarming - in India,  the number of strokes is increasing and it is not wrong to say that it is lifestyle related.

Two actors, Sanjay Dutt and Jackie Shroff, had come in support of India's neurological fraternity - and spread the message that stroke is beatable.

"In case of a heart attack,  it is either you are gone or you recover... in case of a brain stroke, you may be gone, you may recover and come back to normal or you become dependent for life," said Dr Anil P Karapurkar, senior consultant neurosurgeon at Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai. 

"You also need to take precautions and learn to pick up the signals," said Dr Karapurkar, the organising chairman of fourth annual Congress of Society of Neuro-Vascular Intervention (SNVICON Mumbai 2019). 

"Every 60 seconds, three Indians suffer a stroke," says Dr Nitin Dange, associate professor, Department of Neurosurgery, KEM Hospital & Seth GS Medical College.

Dr Karapurkar explained that in case of a heart attack, there are nearly half a dozen basic symptoms. "There can be chest pain,  breathlessness, pain in left shoulder and pain in the upper abdomen," he said, adding that in the case of stroke, the symptoms may differ on which side of the brain is affected.

He said that the simple thing is to follow the BE FAST formula - "balance,  eyes,  facial,  arms, speech,  time".

"Stroke is a sudden loss of function of a part of the body... it happens out of the blue," he said, stressing that if a person suffers from problems in balancing, hoarseness in voice, sudden loss of vision, drops an object,  or giddiness - the first thing is to rush to hospital.

"The family or the persons must not waste time and rush to a hospital," he said, adding that time is important.

"Treatment cannot start a home, a CT scan or an MRI is necessary. Since 2015, we are following a protocol of CT plus angio or MRI plus angio," he said.

The neurological fraternity is also contemplating running a massive programme with family doctors and GPs. The three-day SNVICON Mumbai 2019 also saw the latest technologies that are being used for the treatment of strokes. 

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