Stroke in Malaysia
Stroke is the third largest cause of death in Malaysia. Only heart diseases and cancer kill more. It is considered to be the single most common cause of severe disability, and every year, an estimated 40,000 people in Malaysia suffer from stroke. Anyone can have a stroke, including children, but the vast majority of the cases affect adults.
What is a stroke?
Functions of the brain
A stroke is a brain attack and occurs when the blood supply to the brain is disrupted. The brain is the nerve center of the body, controlling every thing we do or think, as well as controlling automatic functions like breathing.
In order to work, the brain needs a constant blood supply which carries vital oxygen and nutrients. When a blood vessel in your brain bursts or gets clogged, the blood supply stops and the brain cells are deprived of oxygen and nutrients. That part of the brain starts to die. You have a stroke. Very quickly. Very silently.
Brain damage affects your senses, your speech and understanding of language. One side of your body may be paralyzed, your behavior, thought and memory patterns are altered.
Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA)
When a build-up of plaque forms in the artery, it blocks the blood flow, causing blood clots to form disrupting blood supply to the brain.
A significant sign of an impending stroke is a Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA), sometimes called a 'mini stroke'. It occurs because of temporary disruption of blood supply to parts of the brain. The symptoms are very similar to a full stroke but unlike a full-blown stroke, the symptoms last under 24 hours and afterwards there is full recovery.
A TIA is an indication that part of the brain in not getting enough blood and that there is a risk of a stroke occurring. A TIA should never be ignored and should be reported to a medical professional as soon as possible.
Diagrams used with permission from Stroke Foundation of New Zealand
Early rehabilitation is crucial. Every stoke survivor must seek rehabilitation treatment as soon as possible. More »