Research paper on stroke

1515 Words Jun 28th, 2004 7 Pages
Stroke 1

Stroke

Strokes have been around for thousands of years. Hippocrates recognized and described what we now call strokes as the onset of sudden paralysis. In ancient times stroke was called apoplexy and this term was applied to anyone who suddenly became struck down with paralysis. Physicians during that time knew very little about stroke and the only thing that could be done for the condition was to feed and care for the patient. "The first person to investigate apoplexy was a Swiss scientist named Johann Wepfer in 1620. Wepfer was the first to identify postmortem signs of bleeding in the brain in patients that died of apoplexy. Not only did was he the first to identify the blood in the brain of these postmortem apoplexy patients
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The two most at risk groups for stroke are those people with unhealthy lifestyles and the elderly. Two-thirds of all stroke victims are over the age of 65. Strokes can occur at anytime however. Gender also plays a role in strokes. The stroke risk for men is 1.25 times higher than that of women. Men do have a higher survival rate than women due to the life expectancy of men vs. women. Women are generally older when they encounter a stroke (Harrar 132). Stroke also runs in some families. Some members of a family might have a genetic predisposition for some of the risk factors. Race is also important in determining those at risk. African Americans have almost double the risk compared to Caucasians.

High blood pressure is one of the leading causes of stroke. As many as 50 million Americans have high blood pressure and only 31 % know they have it. High blood pressure puts unnecessary strain on blood vessel walls causing them to thicken and deteriorate. Smoking almost doubles your risk of ischemic stroke and increases your risk of hemorrhagic stroke by 3.5 percent (AHA). High alcohol content can lead to stroke.

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While studies show that a small amount of alcohol can lead to a reduced risk for stroke meanwhile large amounts of alcohol can lead to blood viscosity and high platelet levels. Using illegal drugs can also lead to stroke. For example cocaine can act on other

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