UCLA Stroke Center Joins Stroke Awareness Month

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Stroke Awareness

What health condition kills twice as many women each year as breast cancer? Stroke. What health condition is 80 percent preventable? Stroke. May is National Stroke Awareness Month, intended to educate the nation and spread awareness about stroke prevention, symptom recognition and recovery.

This year's campaign, "Women in Your Life," focuses on educating women, who are uniquely affected by stroke:

# Stroke will kill more than 100,000 women this year, more than twice as many as breast cancer.

# More women than men will die from stroke.

# One-half of all African American women will die from stroke or heart disease.

# Women outnumber men as caregivers to stroke survivors.

# Four out of five American families will be touched by stroke.

Many strokes are 80 percent preventable, yet more than 750,000 Americans suffer strokes each year. There are many steps you can take to help prevent a stroke, including maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Stroke prevention guidelines include keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol levels under control, maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet, quitting smoking and drinking in moderation. Women especially are at higher risk of stroke if they are diabetic, pregnant, menopausal/on hormone replacement therapy, or have high blood pressure or migraine headaches.--

Stroke does not just affect your grandmother. Women of all ages are at risk, and 100,000 young and middle-aged women will suffer strokes this year. A National Stroke Association poll found that one-third of women could not recognize even one of the following stroke symptoms:

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# Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body.

# Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding.

# Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.

# Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination.

# Sudden severe headache with no known cause.

Most strokes can be treated. The FDA-approved treatment for ischemic (clot-caused) stroke is t-PA, a clot-busting drug that dissolves the blood clot and restores blood flow to the brain. For the drug to work effectively, however, it must be given within three hours of the first signs of stroke symptoms.

Women need to be aware of their stroke risk and have a strong knowledge of stroke symptoms to get the treatment they or their loved ones need F.A.S.T.:

F = FACE: ---------- Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?

A = ARMS: ------ Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

S = SPEECH: Have them repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?

T = TIME: ---------- If you observe any of these signs, it's time to call 911.\

Recognized as one of the world's leading centers for the management of cerebral vascular disease, the UCLA Stroke Center treats simple and complex vascular disorders by incorporating recent developments in emergency medicine, stroke neurology, microneurosurgery, interventional neuroradiology, stereotactic radiology, neurointensive care, neuroanesthesiology, and rehabilitation neurology. UCLA's stroke program is unique in its ability to integrate clinical and research activities across multiple disciplines and leading departments. A center without walls, the UCLA Stroke Center was founded in 1994.

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