Chronicdiseases are progressive long-term medical conditions that oncepresent, they persist through life. They impact significantly on thequality of life of an individual leading to adverse effects on socialand economic activities of those affected. Chronic diseases havesimilar characteristics such as long latency periods, long illnessand functional impairment or disability (McIntosh, 2016). Somechronic conditions have an immediate dangerous potential while othersrequire appropriate management of the disease.
Strokeis one example of a chronic condition. It is a medical condition thatoccurs when there is an interruption of blood flowing to a particularregion of the brain leading to deprivation of nutrients and oxygen tothe tissues found in the brain. Stroke is placed at the fifthposition as the leading cause of death for Americans. Immediatetreatment is crucial so as to minimize brain damage and other relatedcomplications. It`s categorized into Ischemic and hemorrhagicstrokes. Ischemic stroke results from the blockage or narrowing ofthe vessels carrying blood to the brain. Hemorrhagic stroke arisesdue to the leakage or bursting of blood vessels in and around thebrain. The other condition that mimics stroke-like symptoms istransient ischemic attacks (TIAs). It is different from the other twotypes of stroke as and characterized by temporary disruption of bloodflow to the brain. (McIntosh, 2016).
Diagnosisof stroke begins with the determination of symptoms representativefor stroke. These include difficulty in speaking and understanding,the face, leg or arm may become numb on one side of the body,difficulties experienced in walking, headache and visibility problemspossibly in one or both eyes. After determination of a patient’smedical history, diagnostic tests will be done to determine theappearance of the brain, its functionality and blood supply. Bloodtests are done to determine the clotting time, sugar level andchemical balance of the blood. Imaging tests are also done to give aclear picture of the brain. An example is the Magnetic ResonanceImaging (MRI) which can show the location and extent of brain injuryand it produces sharper and detailed images. Computer Tomography maybe used alternatively to Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Carotidultrasound used for the determination of any accumulation of fatsparticularly in the carotid arteries. Cerebral angiogram provides anexplanatory view of the brain and neck. Electrical activity testssuch as electroencephalogram (EEG) and Evoked Response show thebrain`s activity concerning electrical impulses (How Is a StrokeDiagnosed? 2015).
Strokehas always been a chronic disease. Individuals who survive havelong-term complications as a result of brain injury. Individuals withstroke have to adapt to several changes to manage the disease.Strokes have an impact on both physical and emotional well-being ofthe affected individual. The affected person has to engage in certainrehabilitating activities that will aid in full recovery. Physicaltherapy to assist in movement and coordination. The individual has topractice walking and doing light activities even if it is difficultat first. Speech therapy to address problems related to talking. Activities such as cooking, bathing, dressing, writing, eating andreading assist in providing treatment to the affected individuals.Recommended have been outlined for such persons to join supportgroups that help considerably in solving mental health problems suchas depression.
Variousnovel treatments are currently under research concerning thetreatment of stroke. One of these includes the use ofneuroprotectants. These are medications that protect the brain fromsubsequent injury caused by stroke. Another novel method involvesusing selective endovascular brain cooling under Magnetic Resonanceguidance to manage acute ischemic stroke and final method is the useof catheters to remove to remove clots and maintain the blood flow inthe arteries of the brain in patients with severe forms of stroke(Koroshetz, 2016).
Inconclusion, even though many chronic diseases and conditions arecommon and costly, it is good to note that most of these arepreventable. Most chronic diseases occur in association withlifestyle choices that are in our hands to change.
Berkhemer,O. A., Fransen, P. S., Beumer, D., van den Berg, L. A., Lingsma, H.F., Yoo, A. J., … & van Walderveen, M. A. (2015). A randomizedtrial of intraarterial treatment for acute ischemic stroke. NewEngland Journal of Medicine,372(1),11-20.
HowIs a Stroke Diagnosed? (2015). NationalHeart, Lung, and Blood Institute.Retrieved fromhttps://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/stroke/diagnosis
Koroshetz,W. (2016). New Breakthrough in Acute Stroke Therapy. NationalInstitute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.Retrieved fromhttps://www.ninds.nih.gov/about_ninds/message/message-2015-AcuteStroke.htm
McIntosh,J. (2016). Stroke: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment. MNT.Retrieved from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/7624.php