If you or a loved one are the survivor of a stroke, then you understand the disability that can come from one.
There are two general types of strokes, as well as one subtype:
1) Hemorrhagic - uncontrolled bleeding
2) Ischemic - think blood clots
There is also another type called Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIA) caused by small clots that may be a prelude to a larger stroke. TIA’s are no joke, they are very important to pay attention to and seek care for immediately.
Strokes typically cause damage to brain cells by loss of blood to an area either because the blood supply is blocked to that area by a clot, or in the case of a bleed the blood cannot reach the brain tissue. In addition, slow bleeds can cause a pressure build up inside the skull causing more brain damage. A hemorrhagic stroke needs to be addressed as a medical emergency, and while an ischemic stroke does as well, you have a limited time to get certain medications into the bloodstream to thin the clot and restore blood flow.
Seek immediate medical attention
if you believe you are having a stroke.
The symptoms can be:
Sudden onset of disorientation
Difficulty understanding what is being said
Sudden visual changes
Sudden loss of vision
Paralysis on one side of the body
Weakness in an arm or leg
Facial muscle weakness
After you have your stroke, and depending on the area and severity, you may notice different deficits, from arm and leg weakness to facial weakness to cognitive issues like memory and concentration.
A common question we hear is that if brain tissue is destroyed by a stroke, then how can a functional neurologist help? We help by improving the communication between nerve cells that survived the stroke, and often times training other areas of your brain to be able to perform the activities once derived from the now failed part of the brain. Also, sometimes the area we are dealing with isn’t dead, just damaged, and we can begin to get those systems functioning again applying different receptor based therapy.
Our brains are very plastic, meaning that we can improve and accelerate the performance of your brain through different activities and therapies, such as light therapy, gaze stability, vestibular training, low level laser therapy, neural sensory integration, vibration, etc. These will be specific to your condition.