Magazine article FDA Consumer

Observations

Magazine article FDA Consumer

Observations

Article excerpt

Stroke is the third-leading cause of death and the leading cause of long-term disability in the United States. About 500,000 new strokes and about 160,000 stroke-related deaths are reported each year, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).

Strokes occur when the blood flow to the brain is interrupted by either a blockage or rupture of a blood vessel or artery. A stroke caused by a blood clot that keeps blood from reaching the brain is called an ischemic stroke. A stroke that occurs when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures is called a hemorrhagic stroke. About 8 out of 10 strokes reported in the United States annually are ischemic strokes.

Also called a brain attack, stroke often comes on suddenly. However, the conditions that make a stroke more likely often take years to develop. According to the NINDS, the best treatment for stroke is prevention. High blood pressure, heart disease, smoking, diabetes, and high cholesterol are among the risk factors that increase the likelihood of stroke. Experts say that people who quit smoking and who keep their blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes under control significantly reduce their chances of having a stroke.

Find out more about stroke, how to reduce the risk of having one, and the latest on treatments, in our cover story titled "Brain Attack."

Nerve impulses travel throughout our bodies along nerve cells called neurons. Nerve fibers called axons may link to other neurons or other cells. …

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