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Regular medical supervision, medication and lifestyle changes

Medical advice will be given on continuing care for stroke survivors and may include:

Regular medical supervision

Regular checks of blood pressure, and cholesterol levels leading to appropriate medication

Carotid surgery -one in ten stroke patients have a very narrow artery in the front of the neck on one side (the carotid artery) that restricts the flow of blood to the brain. Surgery to open and clear the artery or to place a small cylinder (stent) in it will increase the flow.

Medication ? two kinds of tablets are prescribed: “clot-busters” and blood-thinners

Anti-clotting (antiplatelet) medication, such as aspirin, probably in combination with another drug such as clopidogrel or dipyridamole (for those patients who have had an ischaemic stroke caused by a clot forming on an area of hardening of the arteries).

Anti-coagulant medication (such as warfarin) where an ischaemic stroke has been caused by a blood clot forming in the heart, breaking off and lodging in the brain. These drugs are very powerful, may have significant side effects and must be carefully supervised by the doctor.

Changes to lifestyle

Attention to diet, which should be varied, but low in saturated fat, alcohol, and salt, and high in fibre, fruit and vegetables.

Avoidance of smoking - this is absolutely essential.

Stress management - stress in life is unavoidable but can be reduced by various strategies including exercise, changing attitudes to work, meditation and relaxation.

Regular exercise ? which will help to regulate weight and improve circulation.

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