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Most Massachusetts residents either know someone who has had a stroke or know someone with a family member that has had a stroke. When not promptly identified or treated, a stroke can be extremely debilitating. However, the American Stroke Association asserts that as many as 80 percent of all strokes are preventable with proper medical monitoring and interventions.

The single biggest contributing factor to most strokes is the presence of unmanaged high blood pressure. When coupled with other factors such as atrial fibrillation, a sedentary lifestyle and the use of tobacco, a person’s risk of experiencing a stroke may increase even further. Therefore, it is essential that physicians properly address these issues with patients and alert them to the true risks they face.

A stroke happens when the blood flow to the brain is cut off either because of a clot or because of a ruptured blood vessel. Treating these root causes will be essential for any stroke patient. WebMD explains that being able to effectively observe and identify the symptoms of a stroke is critical to the long-term prognosis for a person who has a stroke. Some of the tell-tale signs include numbness through one side of the body, in particularly the face, arms or legs.

Dizzy feelings, loss of physical balance, visual impairment and problems forming words or sentences may also be noticeable even by other people. Some patients may also become aware that they are cognitively challenged and unable to understand those around them or to determine what is happening.