Stroke is a debilitating disease, which can make individuals reliant on others for their care and daily needs.
The Neurology Department at UAMS provides some of the best care in Arkansas for individuals who have had a stroke or are at risk of a stroke. By working with UAMS doctors who specialize in vascular surgery, neurosurgery, cardiology and neuroradiology, our multidisciplinary team offers the best diagnosis and care to you.
In addition to our multidisciplinary approach, we also offer some of the most advanced treatments to our patients. Since UAMS is a teaching hospital, we participate in studies supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). These studies continue to lead to new diagnostic techniques and treatments.
UAMS is nationally certified by The Joint Commission as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center. We have the only comprehensive stroke treatment team in Arkansas, with one of only three stroke neurologists in Arkansas and the state’s only neurointensivist. The stroke team includes interventional neuroradiologists, who provide catheter-based treatments of the brain, and vascular neurosurgeons.
Types of Stroke
There are 3 major types of strokes. The specific treatment will vary based on the type of stroke.
- Ischemic Stroke – Also known as brain infarct, this is the most common type of stroke. This stroke is caused by a clot clogging a blood vessel providing nutrients and oxygen to a portion of the brain.
- Hemorrhagic Stroke – A less common form of stroke, it can be more serious. Typically, this type of stroke occurs when a small blood vessel near the surface of the brain ruptures and excess fluid accumulates in the brain. This puts pressure on brain tissue.
- Subarachnoid Hemorrhage – The least common form of stroke, which results from the rupture of a small, fragile pouch which forms on a vessel wall. Blood accumulates around the bottom of the brain. This type of stroke needs to be treated very quickly by an experienced brain surgeon.
Symptoms of a Stroke
UAMS wants to help you minimize any damage that may occur because of a stroke. If you experience any of these symptoms, please call 911 immediately!
- Sudden numbness, weakness or paralysis in an arm, leg or side of the body.
- Sudden onset of confusion or difficulty speaking.
- Sudden vision loss in one or both eyes.
- Sudden facial weakness, crooked smile or trouble speaking.
- Sudden onset of dizziness or imbalance.
- Sudden onset of a severe headache.
Stroke Risks and Prevention
There are several factors that increase your chances for a stroke. Some of the factors are under our control. Risk factors for a stroke include:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Being overweight or obese
- Heart disease
- Advancing age
Lifestyle changes that reduce or remove risk factors should help lower your chances of having a stroke. Some basic changes you can make include:
- Stop smoking!
- Get regular exercise (20 minutes a day three or four times per week). Going for a stroll counts.
- Eat fish two or three times a week.
- Lose weight to help control blood pressure.
- Have your doctor check blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugars.
- If you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes, work with your doctor to control it.
The Arkansas SAVES telestroke program, which includes a partnership with stroke neurologists in Fort Smith and Hot Springs, is now linked with 42 hospitals throughout the state. Arkansas SAVES (Stroke Assistance through Virtual Emergency Support) enables a stroke neurologist to view brain images from a distant location. Using this state-of-the-art resource, neurologists can act quickly to interact with and examine a patient to determine whether the stroke is the type that can be treated by a special clot-busting drug that must be administered within 4.5 hours from stroke onset.
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Learn more about our Neurology Clinic.