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Stroke: Recognize the signs

Every four minutes, an individual dies due to a stroke, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition to being responsible for around 140,000 U.S. deaths annually, stroke is the number one cause of adult disability.  April is National Stroke Month, making now a good time for students to educate themselves on stroke causes, treatments, prevention and symptom recognition.

The Stroke Center-Dallas was created in 1992 to “provide research, treatment and training in neurological rehabilitation specifically for stroke,” according to the center’s website. The Stroke Center-Dallas is located at the TWU Dallas campus, and it is dedicated to outpatient treatment and student research on strokes. According to Dr. Delaina Walker-Batson, Director of the TWU Stroke Center-Dallas, the primary outpatient treatment is for speech and language disorders that occur after a stroke. According to The Stroke Center- Dallas’ website, the outpatient treatment also includes psychosocial counseling for stroke patients. There are also opportunities for faculty and graduate students to contribute to research and clinical trials in physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech language pathology. 

There are many ways to decrease the chances of a stroke before it happens so that people do not have to go to The Stroke Center-Dallas for treatment to begin with. Before knowing how to decrease the chances of a stroke, you must first know what a stroke is. A stroke happens when blood is cut off from the brain with varying consequences depending on what part of the brain the blood is cut off from. According to Dr. Walker-Batson, “a large percentage of strokes are preventable through changes in lifestyle.” You can prevent a stroke from occurring by having a healthy diet, decreasing tobacco use, being physically active and taking drug treatment for hypertension.

If a stroke were to happen, students should be aware of what to look for and how to act during the case of a stroke. An easy way to remember the symptoms of a stroke is through the acronym FAST, according to Medicinenet.com. The acronym is as follows: F- Face drooping, A-Arm weakness, S-Speech difficulty and T-Time to call 9-1-1. If a student or someone a student knows has the symptoms for a stroke, they should call 9-1-1 and immediately get to a hospital.

Strokes are a serious thing, and students should be aware of how to recognize one and what to do in the case of a stroke. April is a great month to educate yourself on strokes, since it is National Stroke Month. For students who have had a stroke or with friends or family who have suffered from strokes, the TWU Stroke Center- Dallas is always looking for applicants for their stroke research and outpatient training.

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