It’s the third leading cause of death. Each year an estimated 600,000 people suffer a stroke. While 15 percent of people die, 30 percent are permanently disabled.
Dr. John Sullivan, a neurologist with Lee Health’s medical staff, says patients who suffer a stroke also have trouble with their memory. “It really doesn’t matter what kind of stroke. The most common type of stroke is an ischemic stroke, where there’s a part that has a lack of blood flow. The other cause is a bleeding within the brain which we call a hemorrhagic stroke. Both types could cause injury to the brain.”
Doctors say both types of stroke can cause dementia. “Stroke and associated conditions that can lead to stroke probably cause the leading segment of dementia overall,” said Dr. Sullivan.
Depending on the size and location of the stroke, doctors say there could be immediate signs of dementia. Patients will need medication and therapy to help try to improve their memory. “The brain can compensate and sort of figure out new ways to achieve tasks,” said Dr. Sullivan.
But patients who have repeated strokes have an increased risk of dementia. “The big emphasis is really identifying the underlying cause. Is it hypertension, or uncontrolled diabetes, or high levels of triglycerides and cholesterol,” said Dr. Sullivan.
Exercise and a healthy diet can help prevent a stroke. “Make sure that all of the general underlying medical conditions are screened for thoroughly,” said Dr. Sullivan.
Knowing your medical history and staying active can help patients avoid a stroke.
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Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health – Caring People. Inspiring Care.