Stroke (Apoplex, apoplektischer Insult, cerebral infarction)

A stroke is a sudden illness of the brain, 85% of which is caused by a lack of blood flow through a blocked vessel (white stroke, ischaemic insult) and 15% of which is caused by a cerebral haemorrhage (red stroke).

Who is at increased risk?

  • Age: More than 80 percent of stroke victims are older than 60.
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol levels and smoking promote arteriosclerosis
  • Heart diseases, especially atrial fibrillation and valvular heart disease: here it can happen that the blood does not flow through the heart in an ideal way, thus blood clots can form. These can be washed into the brain vessels and lead to vascular occlusion (embolism) and thus to a stroke.
  • Overweight and lack of exercise
  • Migraine: The risk of stroke is increased with some forms of migraine.
  • excessive drinking

How do I recognize a stroke?

Hemiplegia, speech disorders, dizziness, double vision, gait unsteadiness, visual disturbances - the symptoms of a stroke can be completely different so it's not always easy to spot him.

Every stroke is a Emergencywhich can be fatal. Those affected must be professionally treated as quickly as possible and taken to a hospital, preferably with a special stroke unit. Even if you are unsure, go to the hospital anyway, because now every minute can count. If the stroke is still very recent, it is a "white stroke" and if there are no other restrictions, an attempt can be made to restore the blood flow by dissolving the blood clot (thrombolysis).

Attention, even if the symptoms below last only a short time:

Take these Warning sign also serious, call 112 and have the cause clarified, preferably in a stroke unit! It could be a TIA (transitory ischämische Attack), which can be a "harbinger" of a stroke: More than a quarter of patients with TIAs have a stroke within five years. In the first two days after a TIA, the risk of stroke is up to 10 percent. To prevent a stroke, it is therefore important that those affected have the cause clarified immediately!

Further information:

Self-help groups stroke

Competence Network Stroke

Information for patients