Experts explain a stroke as Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert continues recovery

UH Doctor offers tips to prevent strokes.

Experts explain a stroke as Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert continues recovery

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) -Over the Memorial Day weekend Cleveland Cavaliers and Quicken Loans owner Dan Gilbert suffered a stroke while at the hospital.

According to a statement issued by Jay Farner, Quicken Loans CEO, Monday, “Dan is awake, responsive and resting comfortably.”

Although not being treated by University Hospitals (UH) , Dr. Cathy Sila who is the Director of the Department of Neurology for UH is helping to explain strokes.

What is a stroke?

Your brain relies on a constant flow of blood to provide oxygen and nutrients. If that stops, that’s a stroke.

“A stroke is a brain injury resulting from a blocked or leaking blood vessel that carries blood to the brain,” according to a UH document and website.

“In general, the larger the area of brain damage, the higher the risk of dying from the stroke or surviving with disability after the stroke," Dr. Sila said.

“Late effects of stroke include slurred speech or language deficits, inability to walk or care for self due to weakness or paralysis, numbness or tingling, memory or behavioral changes.”

There are two main kinds of stroke:

  • Ischemic stroke. This is the most common type of stroke. It happens when a major blood vessel in the brain is blocked. It may be blocked by a blood clot. Or it may be blocked by a buildup of fatty deposit and cholesterol. This buildup is called plaque.
  • Hemorrhagic stroke. This occurs when a blood vessel in your brain bursts, spilling blood into nearby tissues. With a hemorrhagic stroke, pressure builds up in the nearby brain tissue. This causes even more damage and irritation.

The statement from Quicken Loans did not specify which type of stroke Gilbert had and just because a he is awake and responsive Sila said it’s not possible to determine a patients brain damage potential.

“That report doesn’t give us much information on other critical brain functions,” Sila said.

“Is he speaking? Making sense? Able to use his arms and legs to perform activities of daily living and walk?”

Warning signs of a stroke:

The program “Take 5” can help identify someone having a stroke:

  1. Walk – Is their balance off?
  2. Talk – Is their speech slurred or face droopy?
  3. Reach – Is one side weak or numb?
  4. See – Is their vision all or partly lost?
  5. Feel – Is their headache severe?

Causes and prevention:

There are things you can do to prevent a stroke and most come down to health factors.

“Its estimated that perhaps 80% of strokes could be prevented if individual risk factors could be treated and controlled,” Sila said.

“Of all the risk factors, high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, heart disease, high blood pressure is the most important risk factor for stroke, both ischemic and hemorrhagic.”

Risk Factors You Can’t Control

Age: The risk of stroke doubles every 10 years after

the age of 55 but a stroke can occur at any age.

Gender: At any age, a man is more likely to have

a stroke than a woman, but since women live

longer than men, their lifetime risk of having

a stroke is greater.

Family history: Families with higher risks of having

a stroke and heart disease often have close relatives

who have had a stroke or heart attack before the

age of 55.

Risk Factors You Can Control

Smoking: The risk of stroke drops after being

smoke-free for two to four years.

Physical inactivity: Improving your physical fitness

lowers stroke risk. You should try to exercise at least

30 minutes a day.

Obesity: Obesity doubles your risk of stroke and leads

to diabetes. Generally, your waistline measured around

your midsection should be less than 40 inches for men

and less than 35 inches for women.

Drinking alcohol: Moderation is the key. Men should

consume no more than two servings of alcohol per day

and nonpregnant women should have no more than

one serving per day.

Illegal drug use: Stimulants like cocaine and

amphetamines can cause life-threatening spikes

in blood pressure, strokes and heart attacks.

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