World Stroke Day 2023
World Stroke Day is on the 29th of October, which aims to increase awareness and knowledge surrounding stroke.
Risk factors of stroke
1 in 4 people will experience stroke in their lifetime. There are many factors which contribute to the burden of stroke, including metabolic risk, environmental exposure and behavioural factors:
Metabolic factors include
- High cholesterol
- High body mass index
- High systolic blood pressure
Behavioural factors include:
- Poor diet
- Low physical activity
Environmental factors include air pollution exposure.
These factors combined contribute to 87% of stroke cases. Suggesting there is an element of control over these risks. (World Stroke Organization, 2022).
Recognizing a stroke
It is essential to recognize the symptoms of stroke, you can do this by remembering FAST
Time to call 999
Stroke and Dementia
Experiencing a stroke can lead to further health conditions, including dementia. During a stroke blood supply to a part of the brain is cut off, leading to the death of brain cells. This leaves the area damaged, which can cause problems with memory and executive function. These problems can improve for many, however, when the signs don’t improve, or continue to deteriorate, it can be a sign of vascular dementia.
Vascular dementia can also occur when multiple small strokes leave small amounts of damage over different brain regions. This is why people living with vascular dementia see a sudden change, followed by a steady period, and another sudden change as a cycle, rather than a gradual progression as seen in most dementias.
Symptoms of vascular dementia include:
- Short term memory loss
- Getting lost in familiar surroundings
- Reduced concentration
- Difficulty following instructions
- Continence issues
- Delusions or hallucinations
To reduce the risk of experiencing stoke you should do the following:
- Follow GP guidelines on any pre-existing conditions
- Cut down on alcohol
- Reduce smoking
- Increase physical activity
- Eat a balanced diet
For non-emergency stroke related support you can contact the Stroke Helpline 0303 3033 100.
You Are Not Alone
Remember, you are not alone. If you have concerns about your memory, care for someone with dementia or are looking for additional information and advice the Dementia Hwb is here for you. You can visit the Hwb 7 days a week between 11am-3pm, call us on 01792 304519 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org. We can also offer memory assessments with the Community Memory Support Team for Swansea Bay University Health Board. This is not a diagnosis but instead designed for people without a diagnosis who are worried about their memory to see if they need further referral to a GP or alternate memory test.
Article by Abigail Davies