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Stroke Risk Screening

A stroke is a sudden cerebrovascular accident due to disturbance in the blood supply to the brain. The neurological syndrome encompasses different diseases, but its two main types are cerebral infarction and cerebral hemorrhage, the first being more common than the latter. Symptoms of the two types are very similar, although basically these are two entirely different conditions.

Stroke Risk Screening

A stroke is a sudden cerebrovascular accident due to disturbance in the blood supply to the brain. The neurological syndrome encompasses different diseases, but its two main types are cerebral infarction and cerebral hemorrhage, the first being more common than the latter. Symptoms of the two types are very similar, although basically these are two entirely different conditions.

Cerebral infarction results from stenosis or blockage in the blood vessels supplying blood to the brain. It is frequently caused by an underlying heart disease, for e.g. arrhythmia. In other cases the reason is an abnormally clotty blood. 

A stroke results in lasting brain damage with usually permanent symptoms. As treatment options are rather restricted, prevention is of utmost importance.

The most common long-term underlying diseases are high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol or arrhythmia. Diagnosing and treating these problems is the best prevention possible. Apart from this, several inherited factors and environmental effects might also be responsible and might be treated to a degree.

A full range screening includes

1. Consultation with a neurologist, planning the screening according to individual needs

2. Cranial MR (To find the traces of earlier blood disturbances.)

3. MR-angiography examination of cerebral blood vessels (To visualize cerebral blood vessels and their stenoses and aneurysms without using contrast material.)

4. Ultrasound examination of carotid vessels (To show stenoses, obstructions and circulation abnormalities in blood vessels supplying the brain.)

5. ECG, Holter ECG (To reveal arrhythmias with embolism risk.)

6. 24-hour Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring =ABPM (To detect abnormal changes in blood pressure that might cause cerebral hemorrhage.)

7. Heart Ultrasound = Echocardiography (To diagnose heart diseases with embolism risk.)

8. Routine Laboratory Tests (To check for abnormalities that might result in blood vessel diseases and blood clotting.)

9. Special Laboratory Tests (To reveal inherited or acquired abnormalities with thrombosis risk.)

10. Final consultation with a neurologist to evaluate the results and specify the course of action required.

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