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North Hills Hospital recently hosted a live remote broadcast with WBAP. During that broadcast, Hal Jay & Brian Estridge discussed the acronym F.A.S.T. as a way to recognize the symptoms of stroke. Since that broadcast, North Hills Hospital treated a stroke patient who came to the hospital for treatment, thanks to that recent broadcast. Listen to the story here:

For a physician referral at North Hills Hospital, please call 1-855-5NHILLS.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, someone dies of a stroke every 4 minutes. Many factors involved with stroke cannot be controlled. But there are steps you can take to prevent stroke risks and increase survival chances in the event of a stroke. Arm yourself with knowledge to be more prepared if you or a loved one suffers from a stroke.

Prevent Stroke Before it Happens
Take control of your health to help lower your stroke risk. You should manage your existing health conditions with your health provider's help. Keep track of your cholesterol and blood pressure, and manage diabetes if you have it. Keep your medications up to date and take them as directed. In addition to being active and watching your weight, you should quit smoking immediately and avoid excessive alcohol use.

Be Familiar with the Signs of Stroke
Because stroke survival and recovery depend on quick action, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms. Common symptoms come on suddenly and may include numbness or weakness of the face or limbs, trouble with vision or speaking, loss of coordination and severe headache. If any of these symptoms come on and then go away with no other effects, you should still talk to your doctor immediately, as they could be signs of a stroke in the future.

Act Fast
Stroke can be treated, but it’s important to treat immediately. Always begin by calling 9-1-1. Stroke first aid must be administered by emergency medical professionals. A delay in treatment can lead to death or far more significant impairments after stroke. Be aware of hospitals and emergency care centers in your area, and educate those around you to make them aware of symptoms and signs of stroke. Make sure that your loved ones know to call for emergency help right away. Assess your own stroke risk and the risk of those close to you. If you’re aware of a higher risk of stroke, have an action plan in place in case of sudden stroke symptoms.

Stroke Center
North Hills Hospital has been named a certified Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission. Our hospital, in partnership with the Texas Stroke Institute, shares the vision of commitment to providing high quality primary and comprehensive stroke center.

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Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease aren’t interchangeable terms, but they are related. The National Institute of Neurological disorders and Stroke describes dementia as a group of symptoms caused by various brain disorders. Alzheimer’s disease is a specific disease that causes dementia.

Understanding Dementia
Alzheimer's is just one disease that can cause dementia. Others include stroke, vascular dementia and head injury. Common symptoms of dementia include forgetfulness, memory loss, poor judgment and confusion. When dementia becomes severe, those who suffer from it may become unable to live alone. Dementia is also called senility, but it’s important to note that dementia isn’t directly related to reaching a senile age.

Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease
According to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia in people over 65. It is a degenerative disorder that attacks neurons in the brain, causing symptoms of dementia. Alzheimer’s isn’t a normal result of aging, but an actual disease. Those diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease live for an average of eight to 10 years from diagnosis.

Getting Help
The National Institute on Aging suggests talking to your doctor when you or a loved one begins showing signs of serious memory problems or uncharacteristic behavior. Those with a family history of Alzheimer’s disease should be especially on the lookout for early signs such as forgetfulness and confusion about time or place. Those with a diagnosis should work closely with caregivers to establish proper care as the disease progresses.

Preventative Measures and Treatment
There’s no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but adults can take measures to slow down dementia symptoms and improve memory. Consider encouraging elderly loved ones to stay healthy and limit alcohol use. Hobbies and memory games can help keep the mind sharp. Those who have been diagnosed with dementia as a result of Alzheimer’s disease may be prescribed medications to help with memory, but these can’t stop the progress of the disease. Those with Alzheimer’s disease generally need long term care for an extended period of time once the disease has progressed and caused impairments.

The Senior Health Clinic at North Hills Hospital is staffed with professionals uniquely trained to treat the various health needs of our geriatric community. If you or a loved one is showing signs of dementia, please contact us. We can assist with diagnosis, treatment, support groups and living assistance. For more information, please visit us online or call our physician referral line at 1-855-5NHILLS.

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