According to World Health Organization, an estimated 17 million people suffered from stroke in 2010 and 33 million survived after a stroke. In India, its estimated that about 334-424 people out of 100,000 in urban areas and about 84-262 out of 100,000 people in rural areas suffer from stroke. These are alarming figures for an alarming medical condition. The high incidence of stroke and its debilitating effects can be mitigated by increased awareness of preventive and preemptive options available to individuals and families who carry the various risk factors associated with stroke. What better occasion than World Stroke Day 2016 to learn and take preventive action against stroke!
Stroke is a condition in which the blood supply to the brain is blocked, resulting in lack of oxygen to the brain cells and, finally, death of brain cells. Stroke can lead to partial or complete paralysis or even death. In India, the highest fatality, 42%, from stroke is seen in Kolkatta. In the U.S, stroke is the 5th leading cause of death and the leading cause of disability.
There are three types of strokes, classified based on the type of disruption and the extent of disruption in blood supply to the brain:
Stroke can lead to a loss of motor function and this is largely due to a lack of awareness about
The theme for this year’s World Stroke Day 2016, “Face the Facts: Stroke is Treatable” aims to highlight the existence of treatment options for stroke. This theme is an attempt to focus attention on the need to identify early symptoms and take appropriate and timely action.
The ApoE gene mutation was found to be associated with increased levels of cholesterol, LDL and ischemic heart disease. It has also been shown to be significantly associated with stroke . Specifically, the ApoE gene mutation was shown to be associated with carotid intima media thickness, which is known to be associated with ischemic stroke.
Many vascular conditions are driven by an interplay between genetic factors and environmental factors. Hence, there has been a surge in circulation-related problems coincident with a surge in consumption of high calorific food and increase in sedentarity. Genetic risk factors, such as the ApoE gene mutation appear to play a significant role in the disease pathogenesis of stroke. Testing for this gene mutation may help in identifying a risk factor and take preemptive action by limiting other risk factors and seeking early medical advice to lower the risk of occurrence of stroke.
These factors may be modified to reduce the risk associated with the ApoE gene mutation. In most instances, the severity of stroke can be controlled when the patient is provided with emergency medical support, which would require detection of early warning signs of stroke.
There are treatment options available for stroke which many people in India are unaware of or do not have access to. This include:
A genetic risk is an indicator of risk and does not signify poor prognosis. An individual can use the indication of risk to make changes in lifestyle that can significantly reduce the chances of stroke. Moreover, there is a 1 in 10 chance of a stroke re-occuring in a stroke survivor, which makes preventive screening important.
A person with a high risk factor for stroke should quit smoking, stay active, eat a well-balanced diet, stay away from alcohol and let family and friends know about the risk involved and to keep a watch for warning signs and symptoms.
The test for ApoE gene mutation is a simple and non-invasive procedure that could act as a preventive screening tool to inform an individual about genetic risk and to prompt necessary changes in diet and lifestyle. Early knowledge of risk factors can help in mitigating it significantly.
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