Experts Says that Covid-19 may Act on the Brain Leading to Stroke


News Desk, News Nation 360 : The surge of Covid-19 infection has led to a clinically significant increase in the risk of stroke among the Covid-19 positive patients. There can be several ways in which Covid-19 affects the brain; the coronavirus may directly affect the nerves and the brain or may cause blood clots in the veins and arteries which in turn decrease the blood flow and inability to carry oxygen to brain cells. Every 20 seconds, one Indian suffers a brain stroke and the numbers are increasing alarmingly due to changing lifestyles. At this rate, around 1.54 million Indians are affected by strokes every year and the worse is 90 per cent of stroke patients failed to reach the hospital on time. Dr Deep Das, a consultant neurologist at the hospital, said that brain stroke and heart attack have emerged as leading causes of disability and death. Stroke was a phenomenon of old age. But it has changed now. People below 40 years are also becoming victims of stroke, impacting their productive age. As soon as you notice any sign of stroke, immediately take the patient to the hospital emergency unit. Each moment is very crucial during the treatment of stroke. Usually, they get very little time to carry on with the treatment proceeding for stroke. In case one can find involuntary contractions in the face, hands or legs, slurred speech or problem in speaking, and any form of disorder in the body actions, immediately start the treatment of the


patient under emergency care. Stroke can be prevented by modifying one's lifestyle. One can reduce the risk by quitting smoking and drinking alcohol and by controlling obesity and stress. Nowadays, strokes in young people aged below 45 are on the rise, this is due to stress, lifestyle and dietary habits which further leads to brain and heart diseases. So many modifiable, non-modifiable, genetic factors and blood-related disorders too are responsible for strokes. A stroke is a sudden loss of function of a part of the body. It can happen out of the blue. The simple rule to follow in case of a stroke is - 'BE FAST' - Balance, Eyes, Face, Arms, Speech, Time," he advised. If a person suffers from problems in balancing, hoarseness in voice, sudden loss of vision, drops an object, giddiness, the first thing is to rush him to the hospital without wasting time. According to neurologists, people suffer from Ischemic strokes that are a result of blockages. What people are unaware of is - if they seek medical help within 3 to 4.5 hours of the stroke, the blockages may be removed with medication and the possibility of brain-related disabilities are reduced significantly. According to WHO, the second biggest factor for mortality is stroke and it is alarmingly increasing in India. In fact, 40 per cent of stroke patients are from India and China. The even younger generation has been affected by strokes at an increasing rate due to Covid-19. Young patients without any history of high blood pressure or diabetes are developing stroke symptoms due to blood clots in the brain. The most common symptoms of a stroke are : Weakness or numbness of the face, arm, or leg on one side of the body. Loss of vision or dimming (like a curtain falling) in one or both eyes. Loss of speech, difficulty talking or understanding what others are saying. Sudden, severe headache with no known cause. Loss of balance or unstable walking, usually combined with another symptom. Careful monitoring of Covid-19 positive patients is a must in order to check their neurological well-being. Up to 50% of all strokes are preventable. Many risk factors can be controlled before they cause problems. In the case of patients who are suffering from Covid-19 disease or just got recovered from it, a medical examination must be thoroughly done to see if there is any blood clot in the brain. One in every six persons was likely to get a stroke during their lifetime. What is important is the treatment provided post affliction of stroke. Stroke is the third most common cause of disability and death. The risk factors for stroke are diabetes, hypertension, consuming alcohol, smoking and stress, he said. About 80 to 90 per cent of patients can recover in three to six months through physiotherapy and return to a near normal life. 

Pic : Courtesy

Report : Anustup Kundu