Stroke Support Group – RTH Stroke Foundation

February 24 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am

THE OC STROKE ASSOCIATION SUPPORT GROUP WELCOMES  STROKE SURVIVORS & CAREGIVERS TO, TWO SESSIONS twice a month.

Dates: Second and Fourth Tuesday of every month in 2014

Session One: 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Location: 23382 Mill Creek Drive, Suite 130, Laguna Hills, CA 92653

Our first session deals with the stroke survivor and their caregiver(s) who are learning to caregive for their stroke survivor.  This support group will guide you through the caregiving process and to better understand stroke.  This group will also help you to live a better life, “Because there is life after stroke.”

Click here to let us know you’re coming by filling out our registration form!

Deborah Massaglia and various speakers will share their insights on stroke education and support
for those who are stroke survivors and caregivers. All of those who are 59 and under and 60 or better are welcome to attend.

Events for February 2015

February 10 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am

THE OC STROKE ASSOCIATION SUPPORT GROUP WELCOMES  STROKE SURVIVORS & CAREGIVERS TO, TWO SESSIONS twice a month. Dates: Second and Fourth Tuesday of every month in 2014 Session One: 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM Location: 23382 Mill Creek Drive, Suite 130, Laguna Hills, CA 92653 Our first session deals with the stroke survivor…

Stroke Support Group – RTH Stroke Foundation

February 24 @ 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm

THE OC STROKE ASSOCIATION SUPPORT GROUP WELCOMES  STROKE SURVIVORS & CAREGIVERS TO, TWO SESSIONS twice a month.

Dates: Second and Fourth Tuesday of every month in 2014

Session Two: 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM
Location: 23382 Mill Creek Drive, Suite 130, Laguna Hills, CA 92653

Our second session will consist of a workshop called “MindBodySpirit Connection.”  It will run through the year 2014, guiding the stroke survivor and caregiver through the program.

“The field of mindbodyspirit medicine teaches us that the unseen energies of thought, feeling, attitude, belief and imagination manifest in our physical body. stirring the very fabric of our physiology and biochemistry.”

“Brokenness does not exist in the body.  It exists in the mind, body and spirit.  Choose not to be broken.”

Roxanna Todd Hodges Foundation Offices – RTH Stroke Foundation

February 2015

THE OC STROKE ASSOCIATION SUPPORT GROUP WELCOMES  STROKE SURVIVORS & CAREGIVERS TO, TWO SESSIONS twice a month. Dates: Second and Fourth Tuesday of every month in 2014 Session One: 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM Location: 23382 Mill Creek Drive, Suite 130, Laguna Hills, CA 92653 Our first session deals with the stroke survivor and their caregiver(s) who are learning to caregive for their stroke survivor.  This support group will guide you through the caregiving process and to better understand stroke.  This group will…

Find out more »

THE OC STROKE ASSOCIATION SUPPORT GROUP WELCOMES  STROKE SURVIVORS & CAREGIVERS TO, TWO SESSIONS twice a month. Dates: Second and Fourth Tuesday of every month in 2014 Session Two: 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM Location: 23382 Mill Creek Drive, Suite 130, Laguna Hills, CA 92653 Our second session will consist of a workshop called “MindBodySpirit Connection.”  It will run through the year 2014, guiding the stroke survivor and caregiver through the program. “The field of mindbodyspirit medicine teaches us that the unseen energies…

Find out more » March 2015

THE OC STROKE ASSOCIATION SUPPORT GROUP WELCOMES STROKE SURVIVORS & CAREGIVERS TO, TWO SESSIONS twice a month. Dates: Second and Fourth Tuesday of every month in 2014 Session Two: 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM Location: 23382 Mill Creek Drive, Suite 130, Laguna Hills, CA 92653 Our second session will consist of a workshop called “MindBodySpirit Connection.” It will run through the year 2014, guiding the stroke survivor and caregiver through the program. “The field of mindbodyspirit medicine teaches us that…

Find out more »

THE OC STROKE ASSOCIATION SUPPORT GROUP WELCOMES STROKE SURVIVORS & CAREGIVERS TO, TWO SESSIONS twice a month. Dates: Second and Fourth Tuesday of every month in 2014 Session One: 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM Location: 23382 Mill Creek Drive, Suite 130, Laguna Hills, CA 92653 Our first session deals with the stroke survivor and their caregiver(s) who are learning to caregive for their stroke survivor. This support group will guide you through the caregiving process and to better understand stroke.…

Find out more »

THE OC STROKE ASSOCIATION SUPPORT GROUP WELCOMES STROKE SURVIVORS & CAREGIVERS TO, TWO SESSIONS twice a month. Dates: Second and Fourth Tuesday of every month in 2014 Session Two: 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM Location: 23382 Mill Creek Drive, Suite 130, Laguna Hills, CA 92653 Our second session will consist of a workshop called “MindBodySpirit Connection.” It will run through the year 2014, guiding the stroke survivor and caregiver through the program. “The field of mindbodyspirit medicine teaches us that…

Find out more » April 2015

THE OC STROKE ASSOCIATION SUPPORT GROUP WELCOMES STROKE SURVIVORS & CAREGIVERS TO, TWO SESSIONS twice a month. Dates: Second and Fourth Tuesday of every month in 2014 Session Two: 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM Location: 23382 Mill Creek Drive, Suite 130, Laguna Hills, CA 92653 Our second session will consist of a workshop called “MindBodySpirit Connection.” It will run through the year 2014, guiding the stroke survivor and caregiver through the program. “The field of mindbodyspirit medicine teaches us that…

Find out more » May 2015

THE OC STROKE ASSOCIATION SUPPORT GROUP WELCOMES STROKE SURVIVORS & CAREGIVERS TO, TWO SESSIONS twice a month. Dates: Second and Fourth Tuesday of every month in 2014 Session One: 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM Location: 23382 Mill Creek Drive, Suite 130, Laguna Hills, CA 92653 Our first session deals with the stroke survivor and their caregiver(s) who are learning to caregive for their stroke survivor. This support group will guide you through the caregiving process and to better understand stroke.…

Find out more »

THE OC STROKE ASSOCIATION SUPPORT GROUP WELCOMES STROKE SURVIVORS & CAREGIVERS TO, TWO SESSIONS twice a month. Dates: Second and Fourth Tuesday of every month in 2014 Session Two: 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM Location: 23382 Mill Creek Drive, Suite 130, Laguna Hills, CA 92653 Our second session will consist of a workshop called “MindBodySpirit Connection.” It will run through the year 2014, guiding the stroke survivor and caregiver through the program. “The field of mindbodyspirit medicine teaches us that…

Find out more »

THE OC STROKE ASSOCIATION SUPPORT GROUP WELCOMES STROKE SURVIVORS & CAREGIVERS TO, TWO SESSIONS twice a month. Dates: Second and Fourth Tuesday of every month in 2014 Session Two: 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM Location: 23382 Mill Creek Drive, Suite 130, Laguna Hills, CA 92653 Our second session will consist of a workshop called “MindBodySpirit Connection.” It will run through the year 2014, guiding the stroke survivor and caregiver through the program. “The field of mindbodyspirit medicine teaches us that…

Find out more »

Superstar Neurologist Dr. Helena Chui to Speak at Stroke Prevention Seminar in Downey – RTH Stroke Foundation

Superstar neurologist Dr. Helena Chui to speak at stroke prevention seminar

WRITTEN BY : Greg Waskul, Contributor

DOWNEY – One of the world’s leading neurologists will be the keynote speaker at the year’s final free Stroke Prevention Seminar at Rio Hondo Event Center on Wednesday, Oct. 29, at 9:30 a.m..

Dr. Helena Chui, Chair of the USC Department of Neurology and a world-renowned physician and researcher, will be providing her insights about “Stroke and Dementia” at the event. Dr. Chui is very familiar with the Downey community, having worked with the Alzheimer Disease Research Center at USC and its Alzheimer Disease Centers at USC and Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center for more than three decades.

“We are thrilled to have Dr. Chui as our final presenter of 2014 in what has become the nation’s most successful series of stroke prevention seminars,” said RTH Stroke Foundation President Deborah Massaglia. “We encourage those who are interested in hearing and meeting Dr. Chui to register right away, because all of our seminars in Downey have filled up, often within a day.

“We know anyone who attends will learn a lot and will enjoy hearing from Dr. Chui, because her ratings from her previous talks are among the highest we’ve seen in 15 years of holding stroke prevention seminars.”

Everyone attending the event will also receive a free blood-pressure screening. So far, nearly 300 individuals with life-threateningly high blood pressure have found out about their condition for the first time at these local seminars sponsored by RTH Stroke Foundation, Keck Medicine of USC, Rio Hondo Event Center, PIH Health and The Downey Patriot.

Registering for the free stroke prevention seminar is easy. Either visit www.rthfoundation.org online or call (888) 794-9466 to sign up.

Not surprisingly Dr. Chui has earned exceptionally high marks from those who have heard her speak in the local area. “I learned so much from Dr. Chui about memory loss, and discovered many ideas about how to live a healthier life that I applied in my own life,” said Downey community leader Beverly Mathis. “She is very interesting and informative, and the way she speaks with people is so encouraging.

“I remember that the last time she spoke at a stroke prevention seminar she stayed long after her presentation was finished to answer more questions from the audience,” Beverly said. “There must have been 60 or 70 people in line to speak with Dr. Chui, and she smiled and listened to each one and spoke to them with words they could understand and act upon. I can’t wait to see what she’s going to tell us on October 29th, because she is truly an inspiration to us all.”

Dr. Chui’s appearance is part of a larger effort by USC’s Alzheimer Disease Research Center (ADRC) to reach out to underserved communities throughout the greater Los Angeles area.

In her presentation, Dr. Chui will report the latest findings of the research she and her ADRC colleagues have conducted at USC and Rancho as they seek effective new approaches to the detection, cause, prevention, and treatment of early-stage cognitive impairment. She will also discuss research developments from around the world.

“The whole world awaits the day when a truly effective medical treatment becomes available for Alzheimer Disease,” Dr. Chui said. “Meanwhile, the best treatment is still a day-by-day holistic approach to optimize quality of life. A huge difference can be made in the quality of life we experience, depending upon our outlook and supportive and caring relationships with others.

“This depends upon maintaining the spiritual, physical, and mental well-being of the care partner, as well as the person with the disease,” Dr. Chui said. “We understand that memory loss is a family issue that requires effective long-term planning and action to address all the needs of the family unit.”

“Dr. Chui will be speaking about the devastating impact stroke and memory loss has on the health of America’s families,” Deborah said. “In addition to learning about dementia, event participants will be provided with vital information that may help them prevent a stroke and save their life or the life of a loved one.”

Under Dr. Chui’s leadership, USC’s ADRC is organized around six core areas: administration; clinical; data and informatics; neuropathology; outreach, recruitment and education; and imaging. In addition to Dr. Chui, who heads the administration core, several other core leaders, such as Dr. Lon Schneider (clinical) and Dr. Arthur Toga (imaging) are themselves world-renowned experts in their specialties. In addition to its groundbreaking research, Keck Medicine of USC provides the most advanced diagnostic and treatment services available for Alzheimer Disease, other types of dementia and diseases related to aging.

Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center (an affiliate of USC) makes available to the community outstanding resources for the community both in memory loss and stroke. “Our California Alzheimer Disease Center team at Rancho is led by Dr. Freddi Sigal-Gidan, who has more than a quarter century of experience in research and treatment of Alzheimer Disease and other memory loss issues; and Dr. Liliana Gomez Ramirez, who has become one of the top young doctors in the field,” Dr. Chui said.

“Rancho also has a number of experts in stroke and other acute neurological conditions, led by Chief Medical Officer Dr. Mindy Aisen. The stroke service is led byDr. Amytis Towfighi, who is one of the most talented and accomplished stroke physicians and researchers in the world,” she said. “We also have the brilliant neuorosurgeon Dr. Charles Liu and a rising star in Dr. Susan Shaw, among many distinguished clinicians.

“Keck Medicine of USC is very proud of our long-term partnership with Rancho and the talents of the many USC physicians and clinicians who are associated with this superb rehabilitation facility,” Dr. Chui added. It’s an excellent example of how we bring our treatment and research protocols to underserved populations.”

She also suggested that those who are interested in finding out more about memory loss should visit the USC ADRC’s new web site at adrc.usc.edu.

“We have spent nearly a year working to make our new site more relevant to our patients, participants and families, researchers and healthcare professionals, and the community we serve,” Dr. Chui said. “The web site makes it easy to join the ADRC family and learn more about memory loss or sign up for a clinical trial or study.

“We are learning much about stroke, memory loss and other brain-related issues each day as research continues to provide the answers to many questions and challenges we have faced in the world of medicine,” Dr. Chui said. “At Keck Medicine of USC, we are at the forefront of this work, and we intend to continue our efforts to meaningfully participate in the worldwide search to find better treatments and eventually cures so that one day we will have defeat each and every neurological disease.”

With her tremendous leadership and her many clinical and research achievements, Dr. Chui has an interesting perspective about neurological issues such as stroke and dementia.

“We encourage everyone reading this article to sign up for Dr. Chui’s seminar on October 29th because she is a great doctor, a great researcher and a great communicator,” Deborah said. “It’s an opportunity for all of us to interact and learn from a giant of the healthcare world, who possesses the rare combination of the intellect, experience and achievements that make her a world leader in her field, matched by a humility and caring heart that makes her beloved by her patients and colleagues.”

“This is an opportunity for each of us to be touched by greatness,” Beverly said. “If you can only do one thing for yourself this fall, attend Dr. Chui’s seminar. Like me, you may learn something that could change your life or the life of someone you love.”

http://www.thedowneypatriot.com/article/superstar-neurologist-dr-helena-chui-to-speak-at-stroke-prevention-seminar/

Renowned neurologist explains memory loss at stroke prevention seminar – RTH Stroke Foundation

Downey Patriot, November 7, 2013

Dr. Helena Chui was the keynote speaker at the stroke prevention seminar.

WRITTEN BY : Greg Waskul, Contributor

DOWNEY – When Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center Chief Medical Officer Mindy Aisen entered Wednesday’s Primary Stroke Prevention seminar at the Rio Hondo Event Center midway through Dr. Helena Chui’s presentation, she noticed something very unusual. “Every member of the audience was sitting on the edge of their seat,” Dr. Aisen said. “Dr. Chui was obviously delivering a very powerful message.” More than 200 community members packed the event center for “Saving Our Memory and Minds from Alzheimer disease and Arteriosclerosis,” the fifth and final Primary Stroke Prevention event in Downey for 2013. These seminars provided free carotid artery, aortic abdominal aneurysm and blood pressure screenings for more than 1,000 people. These free screenings have been valued at more than $350,000. The seminars are sponsored by the RTH Stroke Foundation, Rancho Los Amigos Foundation, The Downey Patriot and the Rio Hondo Event Center. A series of seminars for 2014 will be announced soon. Dr. Chui, who is Chair of Neurology of the Keck School of Medicine of USC and is ranked as one of the top neurologists in the world, is no stranger to the city of Downey. She has worked at Rancho for 30 years, and she has also been a USC faculty member for three decades. Her presentation made the very complex issues of dementia understandable for the sold-out crowd. Dr. Chui discussed four general areas: *The issue of forgetfulness. “There are varieties of forgetfulness, just like there are varieties of flowers,” she said. “Not all of them are Alzheimer’s disease.” *What causes Alzheimer’s disease and what causes cerebral vascular disease * How Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia interact with each other * What we can do to prevent or cure these diseases “Alzheimer’s disease is the 200-pound gorilla whenever we’re talking about saving our memory and our minds,.” Dr. Chui said. “The largest cause of loss of memory is Alzheimer’s disease, with 64% of dementia cases. The second most common cause is vascular disease at 17%. And the third most common cause is a combination of Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia at 12%.” Vascular dementia is a form of thinking impairment caused by a vascular brain injury like a stroke,” Dr. Chui said “This is due to vascular disease because of risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high sugar and too much smoking. This is the train that leads to vascular cognitive dementia.” “The take home message is that just because you can’t remember doesn’t mean you have Alzheimer’s,” she said. “If you want to figure it out, go see a memory specialist. That could be your family doctor. If you are getting older, you may wish to visit a family doctor that is more interested in geriatrics than pediatrics, or a neurologist that is trained to distinguish these types of memory loss.” Dr. Chui said that the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and stroke increases after age 65 for both men and women. She added that men are more at risk for stroke at a younger age, and women are at higher risk for stroke and Alzheimer’s disease as they get older. “The normal brain shrinks .5% per year after age 65,” Dr. Chui said. “By contrast, the brain of an individual with Alzheimer’s disease can shrink by as much as 1-2% per year. Alzheimer’s is associated with progressive brain atrophy. It has a major impact on memory, then language and spatial thinking abilities.” The challenges of Alzheimer’s disease are especially daunting because there is no way to prevent or slow the disease, Dr. Chui said. We don’t yet have a good treatment for Alzheimer’s but, we have made great progress in understanding the disease, which gives me hope that someday soon we will see a breakthrough,” she said. “We have some ideas from studies in mice and observational studies, but none of these have yet proven to prevent Alzheimer’s disease. We have only symptomatic treatments for the disease.” Dr. Chui explained that it takes 15 years and approximately $1 billion to develop one new drug. She said the good news is that many new drugs are now being tested for many aspects of Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Chui pointed out that those who experience strokes can undergo rehabilitation. “If stroke is in progress, you can call 911 and a clot buster could be given and the clot broken up,” she said. “There is a valuable window of minutes and hours to stop the stroke,” she said. “It’s also important to work to reduce your risk factors.” “We can start fighting dementia by reducing our vascular risk factors,” Dr. Chui said. “If you take all the capillaries in the brain, they would extend from Los Angeles to San Francisco. We want to keep that network as healthy as possible.’ Dr. Chui said that our choices and our genes are major determinants of Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. “You have to be lucky on your genes and make wise choices,” she said. Major risk factors for vascular disease include age, high LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and cigarette smoking. You can’t do anything about getting older, but you can take your fate into your own hands by reducing these other risk factors.

Dr. Chui discussed 10 lifestyle modifications people can make to reduce their risks for vascular disease, including:

* Stop smoking * Lose weight if overweight * Limit alcohol to one ounce per day * Reduce sodium intake to less than 2.3 grams per day * Reduce cholesterol to 300 mg per day * Avoid trans fats, (no more than 1 mg per day) * Eat 1-2 grams of omega-3 fatty acids each day * Exercise aerobically regularly * Keep active mentally, socially and spiritually * Sleep well ‘There’s so much we can do to protect the health of our blood vessels, and we hope that that will slow down the progress of memory loss,” Dr. Chui said. “It’s also important to remember that there is always hope.” Deborah Massaglia, President of the RTH Stroke Foundation, said “On behalf of all those who attended, we wish to thank Dr. Chui for delivering a great presentation on Alzheimer’s and dementia. Many attendees came out of our seminar saying that was one of the best lectures they have ever been to, and we agree.” Deborah said the organization’s mission statement spoke volumes about the ultimate purpose of the seminar series: “The mission of the RTH Stroke Foundation is to eliminate stroke whenever and wherever possible. People suffer 795,000 strokes in the U.S. every year, 144,000 of which result in death.” “These are dire statistics, but there is one that is even more startling,” she said. “Experts in stroke research and treatment say that eight out of every ten strokes can be prevented – eight out of ten!” “Many people got to our Downey screenings just in time this year.” Deborah said. “They had life-threatening conditions without knowing. Thanks to the results of the screenings we provided, they were referred for immediate medical attention.” “Our operating model enables us to put donor money directly to work affecting the lives of literally thousands of people,” she said. “The last words of Roxanna Todd Hodges were ‘Strike out stroke wherever you can.’ “This is what we do every day of the week.” This year’s five Downey screenings had the most participants of any seminars the RTH Stroke Foundation has held throughout Southern California over the last 15 years. Many lives have been saved because of these seminars, which USC’s Nerses Sanossian, MD, Director of the Roxanna Todd Hodges Comprehensive Stroke Clinic at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, called “the most successful Primary Stroke Prevention seminar series our nation has ever had.”

“We are extremely pleased with the unprecedented results of our Downey seminar series,” Deborah said. “Our entire team is looking forward to bringing life-changing messages from top doctors such as Dr. Chui to the Downey community in a new series of Primary Stroke Prevention Seminars next year.”

Photo Courtesy Of: Greg Waskul

http://www.thedowneypatriot.com/article.do?id=17720575

Stroke seminar credited with saving two lives – RTH Stroke Foundation

Hundreds receive no-cost health screenings; more scheduled later this year.

WRITTEN BY :   Greg Waskul, Contributor

DOWNEY – Two lives were saved and many other individuals with life-threatening high blood pressure were identified at the first local Primary Stroke Prevention Seminar of the year, which drew an overflow crowd of 300 people to the Rio Hondo Event Center Wednesday.

The centerpiece of the seminar was a compelling, powerful and yet easy-to-understand 45-minute presentation by RTH Stroke Foundation President and noted stroke educator Deborah Massaglia that was meant to inspire the audience to strike out stroke in their lives. Following her presentation, attendees were provided with free carotid artery and blood pressure screenings.

“We gave 290 carotid artery screenings and more than 250 blood pressure screenings,” said RTH Stroke Foundation Executive Director Guy Navarro. “Two individuals were detected with a significant narrowing of their carotid arteries, and dozens of individuals with detected with high blood pressure exceeding 140/90. We will follow up with all these people to help them get the treatment they need to help prevent a stroke.”

In a doctor’s office, the free screenings provided at Wednesday’s seminar would cost nearly $150,000.

The event was sponsored by the RTH Stroke Foundation, Rio Hondo Event Center, The Downey Patriot, Keck Medical Center of USC and the Rancho Research Institute. In addition, PIH Health provided assistance with the blood pressure screenings at the event.

This Downey seminar series, which leading stroke experts have called the most successful primary stroke prevention initiative ever undertaken in the United States, got off to a flying start for the new year with Deborah’s presentation, which provided so much valuable information that it couldn’t be contained in a single article.

As a service to our readers, and in recognition of the many lives that have already been saved and the hundreds of local residents who have learned they have life-threatening high blood pressure from these seminars, we will cover Deborah’s information-packed presentation with stories this week and next week. We hope our readers take these messages to heart because people can prevent most strokes simply by changing their lifestyle.

Deborah presented her message Wednesday clad in a Keck Medical Center of USC doctor’s lab coat, which in itself was a powerful sign of the importance of what was to come. The RTH Stroke Foundation funds the Roxanna Todd Hodges stroke clinic at Keck, named for the foundation’s caring and compassionate founder who herself was felled by a series of major strokes.

Deborah began her talk by acknowledging how people found out about the stroke seminar. “Most of you are here today because of The Downey Patriot,” she said. “Whenever there’s a story in the paper, our phones ring off the hook. We’re grateful that these articles get you in here to learn about how you can prevent stroke.”

She added that she was also grateful to Mark Shelton, who runs the Rio Hondo Event Center. “Mark gives us the room, the refreshments and the audio-visual for these seminars free of charge. He sets up and breaks down everything for us. And we couldn’t do it without his generosity, his partnership and his extraordinary sense of public service that is a testimonial to the heart of this great city.

“We try our hardest to help people prevent strokes in their lives, because it was the mission of our founder Roxanna Todd Hodges and it is our mission to eradicate stroke,” Deborah said. “Today most of the people that are in nursing homes and convalescent homes today are there because of stroke. It continues to be the leading cause of adult disability in the United States.

“And yet, we also know that we can change the world of stroke. Working with Keck USC, we are making changes for the better, and we are seeing the effects of our efforts each and every day.
“For example, 2013 was a great year for us,” she said. “We wanted to do 50 seminars and we did 53. We wanted to educate 3,000 people about stroke at our seminars and we educated over 3,300 people. We wanted to screen 2,000 people and we screened over 2,400. We really got the word out about stroke.

“There are 800,000 new cases of stroke each year in the United States, and that number continues to grow,” Deborah said. “When I started doing this nearly 20 years ago, the number was 600,000 new cases a year, so the bottom line is that stroke has grown by a third in the past two decades.”

She reported that stroke is now the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. “It used to be the third leading cause of death, but interventional medicine has improved over the years,” Deborah said. “We can now keep you alive longer after a stroke. With the therapy that’s out there today, more people are leading more meaningful lives after stroke, although unfortunately, 90 percent of people who have strokes end up with a permanent disability.”

She said that as the numbers of strokes increase, so does the cost of treating stroke. Today, $57 billion is spent per year to treat stroke in the United States.

She said one of the most important things people need to understand is the warning signs of stroke. “The key to each of the warning signs of stroke is the word ‘sudden’, because a stroke always comes on you suddenly,” Deborah said. She then explained the five key warning signs of stroke, which include:

Sudden weakness in the face, arm, leg. “You need to know that just one side of your body will be affected,” she said. “If you go to raise your arm and all of a sudden that arm is very heavy or you can’t get it to move at all, this is a sign of stroke. It may feel like it’s asleep, it may be tingly. The same thing is true with your leg.

“For example, if you are walking and you go to take a step and one leg works and the other does not, that is a definite sign of a stroke,” she said. “This should not be confused with when you lay on your leg or your arm and it falls asleep. It’s a sign of stroke when one side of your body experiences sudden weakness or numbness. Or if one side of the face droops, it’s also a sign of a stroke.”

Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding: “If you are sitting and you are understanding everything I’m saying to you right now, and all of a sudden what I say to you makes no sense at all, that is a sign of a stroke,” Deborah said. “Also, you may be able to understand everything I say to you, but you may go to tell someone something and the words do not come out of your mouth correctly. One test is to see if someone can say or understand the phrase ‘Is the sky blue?’ If they can’t understand it or say it, that is a sign of a stroke.”

Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes: “This should not be confused with any chronic vision problems because this is a sudden change in your vision,” she said. “It could be wavy lines, it could be spots before your eyes, or it could be that you can’t see out of one or both of your eyes.”

Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, sudden loss of balance or coordination: “If you are walking as if you are drunk and you know you haven’t had anything to drink, or you see someone you’re with that is walking like that, that is a sure sign of stroke,” she said.

Sudden severe headache with no known cause: “This is the hemorrhagic stroke,” Deborah said. “This is no ordinary headache-it is like someone has taken your head and hit it hard against a wall. You feel tremendous pain and you feel it suddenly, not gradually like a tension headache coming on. Bleeding inside your brain causes this to happen.”

“These are the five warning signs,” she said. “If you are having a stroke, you will have one of these symptoms. And if someone you are with has one of these warning signs, you must get help immediately by calling 9-1-1 and saying that you or someone you are observing appears to be having a stroke. With stroke, every minute counts, and swift action can often make the difference between life and death.”

Next week: risk factors for stroke and how you can change your life to help prevent a stroke.

http://www.thedowneypatriot.com/article.do?id=17721629