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AmeriBrain Event at NLHS on May 8th

Since May is the National Stroke Awareness Month, Dr. Khalid Shafiq M.D. and his team at Paris Cardiology Center will be sponsoring the World’s largest walk-through inflatable Brain –The AmeriBrain Event– at North Lamar High School on Thursday May 8th 2014.

World’s largest walk-through inflatable Brain --The AmeriBrain
World’s largest walk-through inflatable Brain –The AmeriBrain

In order to instill healthy habits in our children, Dr. Shafiq and his team at Paris Cardiology Center believes, that through education and preventative care the world’s most deadly diseases (heart disease and stroke) can be prevented if our children are taught to take proactive measures against them since an early age.

This walk through exhibition will be held at the North Lamar High School Building “B” Gym.  Starting at 8:30 AM till 2:30 PM. Along with the nursing staff from Paris Cardiology Center, Sayek Shafiq and Layla Shafiq from North Lamar School will be presenting posters on Heart Disease and Stroke awareness amongst the students. Educational material on preventing heart disease and stroke will also be distributed at the AmeriBrain event.

It is common knowledge that heart disease is the number one killer in the United States while strokes ranks as the number four killer and is the most common cause of adult disability.  Surprisingly, the risk factors of both heart disease and ischemic stroke are the same. Since research has shown that 80% of heart disease is preventable so is 80% of Ischemic strokes.

So what causes a stroke? Stroke or “brain attack” happens when brain cells die because of lack of oxygen or blood flow in the blood vessels of the brain or neck.

brain strokeThere are two kinds of strokes:

  1. Ischemic Stroke.
  2. Hemorrhagic Stroke.

Ischemic stroke is caused by blockage of blood flow and oxygen in the vessels of the brain or neck. It is the most frequent form of stroke and is responsible for about 80% of the strokes. It is also the most preventable form of stroke.

While the Hemorrhagic stroke happens because of bleeding into the brain or it’s surrounding spaces.  It accounts for the remaining 20% of the strokes, which sometimes are hard to detect.

Since 80% of the strokes can be prevented, attention should be paid to it’s warning signs and it’s risk factors.

Warning signs of Stroke:

  1. Look for an uneven smile.
  2. Check if one side of the face arm or leg is suddenly weak.
  3. Listen for slurred speech.
  4. Sudden trouble walking or loss of balance.
  5. Sudden severe headache with no known cause.
  6. Trouble seeing in one or both eyes suddenly.

Other danger signs may include double vision, drowsiness, nausea and vomiting. Sometimes the warning signs last a few minutes and then disappear. These brief episodes are called transient ischemic attacks  (TIAs) or “mini strokes”. Although, brief they point to an underlying condition that needs immediate medical attention. Unfortunately since they clear up, many people ignore these signs. Paying attention to them can save your life. Call 911 at the first sign.

Risk Factors of Stroke:

1)    Control your Blood Pressure: High blood pressure is the most common risk factor of stroke if left untreated.

2)    Manage your Atrial fibrillation: Atrial fibrillation is an irregular heartbeat that can cause blood to pool in the heart, which may form a clot and cause a stroke.  A Fib can increase stroke risk by 500%.

3)    Stop Smoking: Smoking damages the walls of your blood vessels and speeds up artery clogging. It doubles your risk of a stroke.

4)     Check your Cholesterol levels: Cholesterol is a fatty substance that clogs arteries and causes stroke.

5)    Manage Diabetes: Patients with diabetes have health problems that can lead to a stroke.

6)    Limit your Alcohol: Alcohol is linked to stroke in many studies. Drink in moderation. Not more than two drinks a day.

7)    Manage your Diet and Exercise:  Exercise 5 times a week. Excess weight strains the circulatory system. Maintain a diet low in calories, salt, saturated and trans fat. Eat fresh fruit and vegetables daily.

“Brain Attack” like “Heart Attack” is an emergency. 30,000 brain cells die every second during a stroke. Call 911 immediately if you or your loved one is showing any warning signs of a stroke.

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