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How to Quickly Spot Signs of Stroke: Experts
Date:5/13/2013

MONDAY, May 13 (HealthDay News) -- Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arms or legs on one side of the body, confusion and trouble speaking are among the signs that someone is having a stroke. The sooner a stroke is recognized and treated, the greater the chance of recovery, experts say.

"When someone has a stroke, they may show either slight or extremely noticeable physical changes," Dr. Randolph Marshall, chief of the stroke division at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, said in a hospital news release. "The most effective way to prevent the permanent damage associated with stroke is to recognize the signs of an attack and to seek medical attention immediately."

Dizziness and trouble walking, loss of vision in one or both eyes and a severe headache that comes on suddenly for no apparent reason are other signs that someone is having a stroke. Early treatment, however, can prevent or possibly reverse the damage caused by strokes. The experts advised remembering the acronym "FAST" to help people recognize a stroke sooner and reduce any long-term damage.

  • F for Face: Does someone's face look uneven?
  • A for Arm: Do you notice one arm hanging down?
  • S for Speech: Check for slurred speech or other signs of trouble speaking.
  • T for Time: Call 911 and seek immediate medical attention.

One of the most common treatments for stroke is tissue plasminogen activator, the "clot-busting" treatment also known as TPA. The drug is injected into an artery or vein to dissolve a clot and restore blood flow to the brain.

Revascularization is another treatment for stroke in which micro-catheters are placed inside the artery to remove blockages. In all cases, immediate medical attention can help reduce the damage caused by a stroke, according to the news release.

Learning how to prevent strokes with certain lifestyle change
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