Health News Articles

Combatting a Stroke: What You Need to Know About Early Detection

Jun 1, 2013

Stroke is the third-leading killer and the leading cause of long-term disability in the U.S., according to the American Heart Association. But too often, stoke victims don’t realize they are having a medical emergency. Knowing the signs and getting treatment as quickly as possible can lessen or prevent long-term effects and impairment.

Paul K. Kaiser, MD, (pictured right), and Medical Director of the University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro’s (UMCPP) Stroke Center, says that there are many different symptoms for a stroke. The signs of a stroke can include any one or a combination of the following:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arms, or legs, especially on one side of the body or in multiple limbs
  • Sudden trouble speaking or understanding, confusion
  • Sudden vision problems in one or both eyes Dizziness, loss of balance, or sudden trouble walking
  • Severe headache with no obvious cause

“If you are not sure whether you or someone you are with is having a stroke, it’s best to go straight to an ER to be safe,” says Dr. Kaiser, who is board certified in clinical neurophysiology, neurology and vascular neurology.

According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the recommended treatment for a stroke is tissue Plasminogen Activator (tPA). If a blood vessel is blocked, blood supply to part of the brain is cut off and can cause a stroke; tPA can break up the clot to allow for renewed blood flow. While some other treatments, such as endovascular therapy, have been lauded as improved techniques, new research shows that tPA is still the most effective treatment for preventing long-term disabilities.

UMCPP is a state-designated Primary Stroke Center, with comprehensive stroke treatment, including tPA, and recovery protocol to care for patients. The Center for Emergency Care allows for quick diagnosis, Acute Rehabilitation provides physical, occupational, speech, and psychological therapy, and Princeton HomeCare and the Outpatient Rehabilitation Network provide assistance to patients after they have left the hospital.

For more information on UMCPP’s continuum of stroke care, please call 1.888.PHCS4YOU (1.888.742.7496)