Stroke: Takeaways from the Stroke Awareness Live Chat

Learn about the signs, symptoms and treatments for stroke from the experts at Emory Healthcare. On Tuesday, May 24, more than 100 participants joined us for a live online chat on stroke awareness. The chat was hosted by Mahmoud Obideen, MD, stroke neurohospitalist at Emory Johns Creek Hospital, and Fadi Nahab, MD, medical director of Emory Stroke Center .

Thanks to such a great turnout, we were able to answer quite a few questions that were submitted both prior to and during the chat. View the full chat transcript here.

Our doctors also took the time to answer some additional questions we didn’t get to during the stroke live chat:

Question: I had a stroke 11 months ago and don’t have any feeling on my right side. How can I get my feeling back without therapy?

Doctor’s Response: Stroke can lead to numbness of one side of the body. While most patients are able to regain some sensation back, patients can experience persistent loss. There are no studies that I’m aware of that have shown improvements in recovery from specific numbness symptoms. However, there’s a lot of data showing that cardiovascular exercise done before and after a stroke can help boost nerve regeneration. If you would like to discuss this in more detail, we’d be happy to see you in the Emory Stroke Clinic if you contact 404-778-7777.

Question: Does long-term HIV survival (23 years) and exposure to HIV medicines increase one’s risk of stroke?

Doctor’s Response: HIV infection has been shown to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, including stroke. Additionally, some of the HIV medications can increase levels of bad cholesterol, resulting in a higher incidence of cardiovascular disease.

Question: At night and early morning both my arms are numb. I think it may be due to Flexeril or Baclofen. I take them at bedtime for pain and pinched nerves in my neck and right shoulder (my doctors have changed these meds back and forth), but I’m still concerned.

Doctor’s Response: Waking up with both arms feeling numb is typically related to pinched nerves in the arms or neck. While Flexeril and Baclofen can be helpful for muscle tightness and spasms, they are less effective for nerve-related pains. There are other medications that are more effective. Also, simple changes in sleep position or choice of pillow can sometimes alleviate the numbness.

Question: I had a stroke 11 days after giving birth to my daughter and was in Emory for 35 days with drains in my head. They found out I have a missing artery to my brain.

Doctor’s Response: I hope you’ve recovered well and are feeling better. Without more details, I’m unable to advise you on the “missing artery” in your brain. If you would like to discuss this in more detail, we’d be happy to see you in the Emory Stroke Clinic. You can contact us at 404-778-7777.

Question: I heard you should not fly if you’re at high risk for a stroke or have already had a stroke. Is there any truth to this?

Doctor’s Response: Patients who are at a high risk for stroke can face permanent disability if they don’t have access to immediate treatment. It’s important that you discuss the safety of flying after you’ve had a stroke with your doctor to obtain medical clearance.

Question: I’m concerned about stroke and how to control it. Recently, my dad had two strokes within one week. What can I do to prevent stroke?

Doctor’s Response: Life’s “simple 7” represents the healthy lifestyle factors that lead to reduction of both heart attack and stroke. Life’s simple 7 includes:
1. No tobacco use
2. Adequate exercise
3. Healthy diet
4. Healthy weight
5. Low cholesterol
6. Low blood sugar
7. Normal blood pressure

Question: Can Alopecia be a quiet sign of stroke?

Doctor’s Response: Alopecia isn’t typically associated with stroke.

Question: After a TIA (transient ischemic attack) stroke, is it normal to have a salty taste in your mouth? I had some denture work done and my mouth had a funny taste.

Doctor’s Response: A TIA stroke doesn’t typically cause a change in taste in the mouth. However, there are some medicines used for stroke prevention that can cause a change in taste.

Would you like to learn more about the Emory Stroke Center?

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