Basically, a distinction is made between treatment in the acute stage and subsequent rehabilitation treatment. The latter also includes preventive measures to prevent further strokes. Very important in the acute stage is the fastest possible start of treatment. As in the case of a heart attack, strokes also apply: the earlier adequate measures are taken, the lower the complication rate and the extent of permanent neurological deficits.
Lysis therapy as a form of treatment
The only causative action in the case of ischemic insult due to vascular occlusion is lysis therapy, in which a drug given as an infusion dissolves blockages in the vessel. However, this is only effective if it starts within the first three to four hours after the infarction. So far, it has been estimated that only a quarter of patients manage to take them to a suitably equipped clinic or even Stoke Unit (especially for strokes) at this time.
Other therapies include venous blood-thinning drugs that lower the blood's ability to coagulate, thus improving the blood flow to the affected brain area, thereby reducing the extent of the damage. Under certain conditions, special centers in the acute stage of stroke may also attempt to re-dilate the occluded vessel with a balloon catheter inserted into the vasculature (balloon dilatation).
If an acute stroke is caused by a hemorrhage into the brain, for example in a brain tumor or after a vessel rupture, it may also be necessary to perform a brain operation to relieve pressure (trepanation).
Stroke: possibilities of treatment
After the acute phase of the stroke is over, measures are taken to reduce or compensate for permanent failures, manage everyday life, reduce the risk of a new stroke, and eliminate possible causes. This results in the following treatment options:
- Physiotherapy or physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy
- Drugs for blood thinning
- Control of the risk factors for stroke (diabetes, lipid metabolism disorders, good blood pressure, stop smoking, regular exercise, reduce or reduce obesity)
- Surgery of large constricted neck vessels
- Treatment of underlying heart disease