What is a Stroke?
Strokes occur when the blood supply to a part of the brain is cut off. When this happens, brain cells are deprived of oxygen and will begin to die. As brain cells die, certain functions of the body are affected. Depending on which part of the brain are affected, patients may present a wide range of different symptoms. These usually occur suddenly and symptoms commonly include: weakness and/or numbness of the face, arms and/or legs, as well as speech, language, swallowing, visual, balance and/or cognitive deficits.
It has been estimated that 1 in 6 people worldwide will suffer from a stroke in their lifetime, while 1 in 4 people worldwide may suffer from a stroke in their lifetime (Estimated global lifetime stroke risk is 24.9% for those aged 25 or older in 2016, Lancet 2019/NEJM 2018). Stroke is the 2nd most common cause of death worldwide and is one of the most common cause of long-term disability. Moreover, about 20-30% of patients suffering from a stroke will suffer from dementia.