A survey published in early 2022, carried out among American health insurance patients between 2001 and 2014, showed that women under 44 are more likely to have a stroke than men and that this rate increases over the years. . Additionally, research reports that women with pregnancy complications, such as preeclampsia and premature labor, may be at an increased risk of having a stroke, even after the gestation period. Two other studies in the Dutch and Canadian population also found an increased incidence of stroke in women under 40 compared to men1.
Stroke, also known as stroke, occurs when the vessels that carry blood to the brain become clogged or ruptured, causing death to the area of the brain that has no blood flow . There are two main types of disease: Ischemic stroke, which occurs in 85% of cases and is the most common type, occurs when an artery is blocked, preventing the passage of oxygen to brain cells, which eventually pass away. A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when an artery in the brain ruptures or leaks, causing bleeding. It is usually more serious than ischemic stroke. and has a high mortality rate.
Risk factors for the disease include hypertension, diabetes, smoking, frequent alcohol and drug use, stress, high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, and physical inactivity. Therefore, it is important to be aware of symptoms such as: very severe headache, particularly accompanied by vomiting, weakness or numbness of the face, arms and legs, difficulty in moving, sudden loss of speech or understanding and difficulty or loss of vision2.
In a conversation with Cristina Simões, who suffered an ischemic stroke at 46 and is currently president of the São Paulo State Stroke Association, she tells us that the first symptoms she felt were tingling in the arm, a lack of taste and voice. curled up, which triggered 3 sleepless nights, still a few days before the stroke. Another remarkable moment and one of the most difficult was being released from the hospital, still unable to walk. At that time, Cristina returned home and could not walk for three months. Since then, she has suffered from chronic fatigue that forces her to leave home every day and perform her physiotherapy.
Cristina’s report is no different than that of many stroke patients, so she reinforces the need for patience and understanding during the rehabilitation process, for both the stroke survivor and the members. of the family, because the recovery process is slow. and in some cases may involve impairment of the cognitive part of the individual.
Post-stroke rehabilitation is one of the most important parts of treatment and should be started in the hospital itself, so that the patient can adapt more easily to their new situation and regain their mobility, functional abilities and physical and psychological independence. The rehabilitation process must be carried out by a multidisciplinary team, made up of neurologists, physiatrists, nurses, physiotherapists and occupational therapists2.
Post-Stroke Pathways Campaign
To raise awareness of the importance of post-stroke rehabilitation, patient associations (Stroke Association of the State of São Paulo, Cerebrovascular Association of Cuiabá), medical societies (Brazilian Society of Cerebrovascular Diseases, Brazilian Association of Physical Medicine and of Rehabilitation) and Ipsen has created the Caminhos Pós-AVC initiative, which aims to raise awareness of risk factors, address key prevention behaviors and dedicate a space dedicated to post-stroke care .
The initiative aims to value the importance of rehabilitation, promote the exchange of experiences, give voice to patients, family members, caregivers and health professionals to value their stories and experiences during the post-stroke rehabilitation journey.