Stroke Can Strike Anyone

Dr. Jeffrey Thomas, Stroke Shield Foundation (SSF)

Stroke can strike anyone, anytime, anywhere – all races – infants and older adults – you and me – celebrities. Dick Clark, Bob Barker, Candice Bergen, Peter Boyle, Tedy Bruschi, James Cagney, Charlie Daniels, Kirk Douglas, James Garner, Hugh Hefner, Burt Lancaster, and Samantha Morton are among the famous people who survived a stroke. With 795,000 stroke cases a year in the U.S., chances are you know somebody who has suffered a stroke – a loved one, friend, neighbor, colleague, or your favorite celebrity. Some risk factors are controllable, and if modified will result in a significant decrease in the incidence of stroke according to the Dr. Jeffrey Thomas, Stroke Shield Foundation (SSF). The SSF is promoting the message “Technology Against Stroke” this May in recognition of National Stroke Awareness Month. “While age, race, and family history cannot be altered, most stroke risk factors can be modified or treated medically. Many stroke risk factors increase the probability of developing a host of other serious diseases including cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes, adding to the grave socioeconomic and personal health burden placed on society,” said Jeffrey E. Thomas, M.D., F.A.A.N.S., F.A.C.S., founder and chairman of the SSF. “Great strides have been made in minimally invasive treatment of stroke through endovascular interventions, but little progress has been made in prevention,” said Dr. Thomas. Scalable digital technologies utilizing iPhone and other platforms need to be developed and made widely accessible/affordable to help prevent stroke. The apps would incorporate technology to enable the analysis and ongoing modification of stroke risk factors in high-risk individuals. Ultimately, the SSF aims to minimize the necessity for emergency intervention through its grant program that will fund awards to researchers working on promising, cutting-edge stroke prevention modalities. The range and severity of early stroke symptoms vary considerably, but they share the common characteristic of being sudden. Warning signs may include some or all of the following symptoms: Dizziness, nausea, or vomiting; unusually severe headache; confusion, disorientation or memory loss; numbness, weakness in an arm, leg or the face, especially on one side; abnormal or slurred speech; difficulty with comprehension; loss of vision or difficulty seeing; and loss of balance, coordination, or the ability to walk. Controllable Stroke Risk Factors include Type 2 disaetes, obesity, hypertension, tobacco smoking, alcohol use, heart disease and previous stroke. For information on “Technology Against Stroke,” visit  www.strokeshieldfoundation.org,
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