The Impact of a Stroke on the Brain

We’ve all heard the phrase “time is money.” But in the neurological community, “time is tissue” because damage to the brain very quickly when deprived of oxygen. The most common cause of oxygen deprivation to the brain is stroke, which is the third-leading cause of death globally. Every year, close to 800,000 people in the U.S. have strokes.

The human brain loses 2,000,000 neurons every minute that it is deprived of oxygen. Because of this, rapid response is critical so that the symptoms of stroke can be reversed before the damage is permanent.

Immediate signs of a stroke

A stroke is a blockage or a leak in blood vessels of the brain, causing deprivation of oxygen to neurons in that area. Strokes usually occur on one side of the brain, and more rarely in the brain stem. Depending on the location of the stroke, different symptoms may present, based on the bodily and mental functions controlled by that part of the brain.

Hemisphere located stokes may cause:

  • Weakness or paralysis and sensory impairment
  • Loss or impairment of eyesight and/or issues seeing visual fields
  • Spatial problems with depth perception or directions, or inability to find things
  • Inability to localize or recognize body parts
  • Memory problems
  • Behavioral changes, such as lack of concern about situations, impulsivity, inappropriateness, and depression
  • Problems with speech and understanding language
  • Impaired ability to do math, organize, reason, and analyze items, or to read, write, or learn new information

A cerebellar stroke can result in:

  • Inability to walk or problems with coordination and balance
  • Dizziness, vertigo
  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Slurred speech

A brainstem stroke can result in:

  • Problems with breathing and heart function
  • Body temperature control
  • Balance and coordination issues
  • Weakness or paralysis
  • Trouble chewing, swallowing, and speaking
  • Vision impairment
  • Unconsciousness or coma

Long-term effects of Stroke

How permanent these symptoms become depends on the location and severity of the stroke, but they can often be significantly mitigated with quick treatment. The Neuralert Stroke Detection Monitor detects in-hospital strokes ten times faster than current protocols, significantly decreasing reaction time and improving the chances of positive outcomes after a stroke.

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association determined that stroke victims often experience faster deterioration of the mental faculties than those who have not experienced a stroke. Per the study, participants who had had a stroke had a 23% greater risk of suffering additional mental loss compared to non-stroke participants.

Protecting your patients

In-hospital strokes account for 17% of all strokes. Surprisingly, it can take hours before a stroke is noticed in a hospital patient, since patients are usually alone, confined to bed, and may be intubated, making it very difficult to catch signs of stroke early.

The Neuralert Stroke Detection Monitor is your hospital’s key to rapid stroke recognition, evaluation, and treatment. Our non-invasive, reusable wristbands monitor arm asymmetry by transmitting their telemetry to our patented algorithm that evaluates the data, mathematically models out other explanations of asymmetry, and immediately sends an alert to hospital staff if signs of stroke are present. This allows for quick evaluation of the patient in order to begin life-saving treatment.

Partner with Neuralert today to significantly improve the timeframe for assessing strokes in your patients, improving their chances for positive long-term outcomes.