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. Without oxygen, certain functions of the body are affected. Depending on which parts of the brain are affected, patients suffering from a stroke may develop a range of different symptoms. These usually occur suddenly and symptoms may include: weakness and/or numbness of the face, arms and/or legs, as well as speech, language, visual, balance and/or cognitive deficits.
It has been estimated that 1 in 4 people over age 25 will have a stroke in their lifetime. Stroke is the number one cause of death in China, and 2nd most common cause of death worldwide. It 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. Caregiver burden as a result of taking care of stroke survivors is also substantial and often neglected.