A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is disrupted due to a blockage (ischemic) or from the rupture of a blood vessel in the brain (hemorrhagic), causing neurons in an area of the brain to die. The effects of the stroke depend upon the location and breadth of damage, and the symptoms of that damage start to show in the parts of the body controlled by those brain cells. Strokes can cause paralysis of one or both sides of the body, speech and language problems, memory loss, behavioral changes, and even death.
- Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States and is a major cause of adult disability.
- Each year, ~795,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke.
- Each day, ~2,200 Americans will have a stroke and ~360 will die of a stroke.
- Stroke accounted for ~1 of every 19 deaths in the United States in 2010.
- An estimated 6.8 million Americans ≥20 years of age have had a stroke.
- As of 2010, the direct and indirect cost of stroke was estimated at $36.5 billion annually.
Within minutes of a stroke, the lack of blood flow will permanently damage a core of brain tissue. Between this damaged core and the normal brain is the penumbra – tissue that is under gradated stress from lessened blood flow and some disruption of energy metabolism. Over the first 24-48 hours, the stress on neuronal and glia cells in the penumbra resolves with some recovery or further cell death. The aim of Astrocyte’s cerebroprotective therapy is to salvage as much of the penumbra as possible, limit further acute tissue damage, and promote neuron recovery.
1 AHA and Go 2014