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Stroke Myths and Awareness

May 17, 2011

The National Stroke Association website at Stroke.org is a great place to go to find out how to make the most of May as National Stroke Awareness Month. Not only do they offer a comprehensive education about this particular cardiovascular disease, but they have tips on prevention, recovery, recognizing signs and symptoms, how to get involved, donate and stay informed. 

Know the warning signs of strokeTwo of the myths they hope to debunk with education and awareness are that stroke only strikes the elderly and stroke happens to the heart. 

The reality is that stroke can happen to anyone--even children and infants have strokes. The interactive online guide explains that a stroke is more of a "Brain Attack" than a heart attack. It’s still cardiovascular though, because it is caused by a problem that occurs in the arteries or blood vessels to the brain.  The system that moves the blood through your body is pumped by the heart, so it makes it heart-related. 

Blood pressure, plaque and clot formation, hypertension -- these are all cardiovascular issues, but they can have an effect on the brain, which then can become a full body issue.

Other myths they want people to know the truth about are the false ideas that stroke is unpreventable and untreatable.  Actually, stroke is largely preventable and requires emergency treatment.  Acting fast can save lives, and in fact, “FAST” is a word that help diagnose a stroke in progress so you can help in time. There is an FDA-approved clot-buster medication that, if given within three hours of the first symptom, may reduce long-term disability for the most common type of stroke. There are also two other types of stroke treatment available that might help doctors reduce the effects of stroke. 

Bust the myths and spread awareness, it could save the life of someone you love!