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May 2016 -- National Stroke and ALS Awareness Month



Preventing a Stroke

Certain risk factors can increase your chances of having a stroke. If you have identified personal risk factors, work with your healthcare provider to reduce your personal risk. Prevent stroke happening to you or others by following these guidelines:

  • Identify. Review the risk factors and identify your personal risk.
  • Reduce your risk factors. Work to reduce your stroke risk through lifestyle changes and if necessary medication.
  • Recognize and Respond.  Learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of a stroke by memorizing FAST. Respond to the first sight of stroke and help save lives.
  • For more information on Stroke risk factors, please visit https://www.stroke.org/

Acting F-A-S-T              



What is a T.I.A?

A transient ischemic attack (TIA), also called a “mini stroke,” occurs when a blood clot blocks blood flow in the brain. The block is temporary (transient), and unlike an actual stroke, TIA doesn’t generally kill brain tissue.

Symptoms of a mini stroke are often brief, normally lasting a few minutes to a couple of hours, though some people may have symptoms for up to 24 hours. Knowing the signs of a TIA can help you get the treatment you need as early as possible.


Stroke Myths vs. Stroke Facts

MYTH: Strokes are not hereditary. FACT: Family history of stroke increases your chance for stroke. 

It helps to know the facts about Strokes; go to https://www.stroke.org/understand-stroke/what-stroke/stroke-facts for more information.


ALS - Lou Gehrig's Disease

Briefly, ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. A-myo-trophic comes from the Greek language. "A" means no. "Myo" refers to muscle, and "Trophic" means nourishment – "No muscle nourishment." When a muscle has no nourishment, it "atrophies" or wastes away. "Lateral" identifies the areas in a person's spinal cord where portions of the nerve cells that signal and control the muscles are located. As this area degenerates it leads to scarring or hardening ("sclerosis") in the region. More information can be learned from the ALS website - https://www.alsa.org/

ALS is a difficult disease to diagnose. There is no one test or procedure to ultimately establish the diagnosis of ALS. It is through a clinical examination and series of diagnostic tests, often ruling out other diseases that mimic ALS, that a diagnosis can be established.


What's With The Ice Buckets?


The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge started in the summer of 2014 and became the world’s largest global social media phenomenon. More than 17 million people uploaded their challenge videos to Facebook; these videos were watched by 440 million people a total of 10 billion times. It is now an annual event to raise awareness and funds to find treatments and a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).  

A video from the founders of the ice bucket challenge - 

From Cape Cod Health Care comes this well-written article about a Falmouth Dentist and his experiences with ALS.  


A 'Drop in the Bucket' ? Would you like to know where your donations are going?     Then take a look at the Bucket Breakdown

ALS and Stroke Support Groups

The South Shore and Cape Cod areas have a few support groups to help with awareness and support in dealing with ALS and Stroke. To find out more, please visit https://plymouth-430.comfortkeepers.com/home/senior-resources/caregiver-support

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