Health Watch - Stroke: Awareness

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

May is American Stroke Month, and this week on Health Watch we’ll talk about stroke — what it is, how to detect it and how to prevent it. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel leading to the brain is blocked or bursts. That deprives parts of the brain of oxygen, causing those parts to start to die. The portions of the body controlled by the affected parts of the brain may become impaired.

While stroke generally affects older adults, it can strike people of all ages, even children. There are medications that can break up the clots that cause some strokes and prevent damage, but they must be given within three hours of the stroke beginning, and very few patients are treated within that window of opportunity because they don’t seek medical attention in time. Dr. Duke Samson, chairman of neurological surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says it’s a tragedy that stroke is still so poorly understood and poorly treated, and that makes it important to educate people about stroke.

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in neurosciences.


May 2009

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