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Stroke in Younger Adults: What You Need to Know

by | Sep 27, 2023

You are never too young to have a stroke. As such, it is important to know what to look out for and how your lifestyle increases your risk of having a stroke.

big healthy family together on the couch

Overview of Stroke in Younger Adults

While the majority of people who suffer strokes are older adults, the disease can affect anyone, regardless of age. An estimated 1.5 million young adults worldwide suffer strokes each year. A stroke is a serious medical condition that requires emergency care. If you are experiencing a stroke or having the warning signs, quick action is vital. Early and proper diagnosis, treatment and management of the condition will go a long way in improving your quality of life. Also, screening can help to identify and prevent a stroke risk before any symptoms become noticeable.

Here’s what you need to know.

Stroke Before the Age of 45

Most experts consider young stroke to pertain to individuals under the age of 45. Today, there is a growing trend of younger and middle-aged adults suffering from stroke. Generally, the consequences of a stroke for younger patients are more damaging. When the disease strikes at a young age, it is likely to severely impact disability and productivity throughout the individual’s lifetime.

What Causes Stroke in Young People?

A stroke, or brain attack, occurs when blood flow to a part of the brain is blocked or disrupted, which in turn deprives the brain of oxygen and food. Oftentimes, this happens due to a blood clot or when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures. Interruption of blood flow can cause lasting brain damage, permanent disability or even death. 

The factors that can lead to stroke in young people are as follows:

  • Dissection or tearing of blood vessels (this is the most common cause)
  • Clotting disorders
  • Premature atherosclerosis
  • Structural heart disease
  • Blood vessel abnormalities

Read our “Stroke Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment: A Complete Guide” blog post to stay informed about the types of stroke, symptoms, screening, diagnosis, treatment options, stroke management, and more.  

Stroke Symptoms in Young Patients

The longer a stroke goes untreated, the greater the risk of permanent brain damage or death. Awareness of stroke signs and symptoms will aid in timely stroke recognition and enable you to call for help as early as possible. Another common case among younger people comes from severe headache with no known cause. The most common symptoms of stroke include:

  • Sudden loss of balance and coordination
  • Dizziness and problems walking
  • Confusion, difficulty speaking or difficulty understanding speech
  • Sudden weakness or drooping on one side of the face, especially when smiling
  • Sudden change in vision
  • Numbness, weakness or paralysis that affects one side of the body
  • Sudden onset of a severe headache

Call 9-9-5 or get to the nearest emergency room immediately if you or a loved one are experiencing the above stroke symptoms. 

Did you know that there are over 150 types of headaches? The most common include tension headaches, migraines, and cluster headaches. Headaches can also sometimes result from underlying medical conditions like strokesbrain aneurysms, or infections. Learn when it is time to worry about a headache, the different certain types, and the warning signs of each in our article.

Stroke Types in Younger Adults

There are three main types of stroke in younger patients. The different types of stroke have different causes and affect the brain in different ways.  

Ischemic stroke: The most common type of stroke, ischemic stroke occurs when the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain is impaired due to a blockage of an artery. Ischemic strokes are further divided into thrombotic strokes and embolic strokes.  

Hemorrhagic stroke: These strokes occur when a blood vessel in or near the brain ruptures and bleeds. This not only deprives brain cells and tissues of oxygen and nutrients but also puts pressure on the surrounding tissues. Hemorrhagic strokes are divided into intracerebral hemorrhage and subarachnoid hemorrhage.

Transient ischemic attacks (TIAs): Also known as a mini stroke, this is a minor stroke that lasts only a few minutes. This type of stroke happens when blood flow to the brain stops for a brief time.

Find answers to commonly asked brain aneurysm and stroke questions from our younger patients with Dr. Manish Taneja. If you’re a younger adult, learn also what you need to know about the different types of strokes, their risks, finding the right doctor, and even some tips on preventing strokes before you see a medical professional in our blog post, “Types of Stroke: Ischaemic, Haemorrhagic, and TIAs”.

 

Types of Stroke: Ischaemic, Haemorrhagic, and TIAs

How well do you know stroke? Different types of strokes require different treatments.

Risk Factors in Younger Patients

Compared to older patients, younger patients have a significantly wider range of risk factors. While some of these risk factors cannot be controlled, most are lifestyle-related. They include:

  • Health conditions like diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease and sickle cell disease
  • Genetics and a family history of stroke
  • A sedentary or inactive lifestyle
  • Eating a diet containing high amounts of saturated fats and refined sugars
  • Use of certain medications such as blood thinners
  • Heavy alcohol consumption or tobacco use
  • Use of oral contraceptives

Stroke is On the Rise For Young Adults

There has been an increase in the prevalence of stroke in young adults in the last few decades. The increasing frequency in young adults is partly due to sedentary lifestyles, substance use and stress.

When it comes to stroke, prevention is always better than cure. If you notice any of the warning signs of the condition, be sure to seek prompt medical attention.

Comprehensive Stroke Treatment in Singapore at Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic 

Here at Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic, we provide quality world-class care to patients. Our highly-trained and certified stroke specialist, Dr. Manish Taneja, emphasizes accurate diagnosis, proper care and personalized treatment for stroke-related issues. To learn more, fill in and submit your contact information and inquiry details on our contact us page.  

Stroke Prevention: Causes and Risk Factors

Anyone is capable of having a stroke, but the chances increase if you have certain stroke risk factors, some which are preventable and some which are not.

Consult a Stroke Specialist in Singapore

Dr. Manish Taneja, is an expert in endovascular and image guided neurointerventional procedures of brain and spine. It’s important to find a stroke specialist and doctor you can trust in Singapore. He has special interest in treatment of brain aneurysms, stroke and vascular malformations. Come in for a further evaluation. Arrange an appointment with Dr. Manish Taneja, our stroke specialist.

 

Dr. Manish Taneja performing surgery

Stroke Resources

Transient Ischemic Attack: What You Need to Know

Not all people get strokes. However, for those who are well, warning signs of stroke can still happen. You might have heard of Transient Ischemic Stroke (TIA), which can lead to a future possible stroke.

Friends making salad

We’ve Got You Covered for Specialized Stroke Screening, Prevention, and Management

Imagine heart attacks where the blood flow to your heart is blocked. Similarly, a stroke occurs when the blood flow to your brain is interrupted becoming a “brain attack”. When blood supply does not reach a certain part, brain cells begin to die. Different types of stroke include ischemic strokes (blockage of blood vessel due to blood clot) or a mini stroke, a TIA (transient ischemic attack), with no permanent damage yet serious. Stroke also occurs when a blood vessel in the brain pops causing bleeding in the brain.

Certain areas of the brain can be affected by stroke and some symptoms of a stroke including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and high blood sugar levels increase the risk of stroke whereas an active lifestyle or controlling high cholesterol reduces the risk. How well do you know stroke? Find tips to prevent and manage stroke, the differences in stroke screening tests, and the newer technology and treatments available. 

Supreme Vascular and Interventional Stroke Programs

Brain Aneurysm Resources

Discover brain aneurysm resources that go beyond the basics designed for patients. Understand the meaning of  a brain aneurysm condition, the causes, symptoms, signs, and more. Connect with your brain health.

Put Brain Aneurysm on Your Health Radar

Did you experience the worst headache of your life? Could it be a brain aneurysm that ruptures, which means bleeding in the brain? Thoughts could be racing through your mind. Then what is the difference between unruptured (a weak or thin spot on an artery in the brain that balloons) or ruptured brain aneurysm? If you’re wondering, then the Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic is here to help. It’s important to look out for the tell-tale brain aneurysm symptoms, signs, causes, and risk factors.

Dr. Manish Taneja has been performing brain aneurysm treatments since 1995 from surgical clipping to latest minimally invasive procedures. Each patient is unique as is the size and location of the aneurysm. Your brain has different conditions to treat the aneurysm and artery vessel walls of a blood vessel in the brain. This calls for personalised brain aneurysm treatment depending on your symptoms, family, history, medication, and more. A simple CT scan could be just what the doctor ordered and the first step in early detection and prevention of a brain aneurysm. Come in for an easy consultation with our brain aneurysm specialist in Singapore to be on your health radar.

Other Health Conditions

The Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic is your “go-to” facility for various neurological conditions and treatments. To arrange an appointment with Dr. Manish Taneja, our neurointervention specialist, contact us. You can also call us at (+65) 6904 8084 for a consultation.