Facts about Stroke in Singapore
(Numbers and facts supplied by the Singapore National Registry of Diseases Office, Singapore Heart Foundation, and SingHealth.)
1. One out of every 3 deaths in Singapore is due to heart disease or stroke.
2. Stroke is the 4th leading cause of death in Singapore, and among the top 10 most common causes for hospitalisation.
3. Stroke is one of the leading causes of long-term physical disability in Singapore.
4. Roughly 80% of strokes are caused by a clot in a blood vessel in the brain (an ischaemic stroke), and one-fifth by a rupture (a haemorrhagic stroke, which has a higher rate of mortality).¹
Some strokes can also be classified as due to undetermined causes, or as a mini-stroke (a TIA or transient ischaemic attack).
5. Generally, stroke is more common among Singapore males than females, with the incidence rate being 1.7 times higher in males.
In the 25–64 years age group, the incidence of stroke among males was 2.2 times more than females.² (This consistent with worldwide findings. Some studies propose that this may be due to a lack of, or delayed diagnoses for females as compared to males.)
6. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes are the most common risk factors for stroke.
Among men, the risk increases for smokers; there are 6 times more smokers among male stroke patients compared to females. (Health Factsheet on Stroke 2013)
7. Early identification and treatment of stroke (within 3 hours of symptom onset) can lead to improved chances at survival and long-term functional ability and/or recovery.
Unfortunately, in Singapore, the median time from the onset of stroke symptoms to the presentation of patients to the hospital is 16–20 hours. Common reasons given were failure to recognise the severity of symptoms, and the inability to seek medical attention unaided.
Call 995 when you have an emergency that requires medical assistance or the civil defence.
8. The FAST mnemonic for common symptoms for stroke
9. Haemorrhagic strokes (occurring in 16%–20% of strokes) have a higher fatality rate, of around 25% within 30 days.
10. In 2010, it was found that 8.1 per cent of Singapore residents aged between 18 to 69 years provide regular care or assistance to friends or family members affected by health-related disabilities (reduced function due to stroke being common), averaging 6.8 hours of care per day in a typical week.
(Source: Caregiving in Singapore, September 2011)
Effects of Stroke
The effects of stroke vary between individuals and cases based on the stroke type, severity, location, and number of previous strokes. In a stroke, the regular blood supply to the brain is interrupted or reduced, depriving affected parts of the brain of oxygen and nutrients, which can cause brain cells to die. When an area of the brain is damaged from a stroke, it can cause the loss of normal function of part(s) of the body controlled by that area of the brain, resulting in a disability.
For more information on the different effects of stroke depending on the location in the brain they occur, you can read this article on the Johns Hopkins Medicine website.
This article from the Mayo clinic provides more detail on the long-term complications of stroke, including memory loss, the loss of cognitive abilities, and changes in behavior.
Stroke Treatment & Rehabilitation
Stroke treatment and rehabilitation begins with doctors stabilising the patient, making sure to prevent life-threatening issues, further complications, and/or another stroke. Once this is achieved, focus shifts, sometimes within 48 hours, to regain the functions of the affected part of the patient’s brain. Stroke rehabilitation helps the patient regain independence and their quality of life as much as possible.
Each person’s ability to recover varies widely due to the severity of the stroke, the immediacy of medical attention, and the frequency of the rehabilitative treatments.
Rehabilitation depends on the area of the brain affected, and can include:
- Physical/motor function/mobility therapy
- Psychological therapy and evaluation
- Mood medication
- Electrical stimulation for weakened muscles
- Noninvasive brain stimulation
In Western medicine, acupuncture is considered “alternative”, but it’s had a long history of use in Asia. The traditional wisdom is that patients who’ve had a stroke due to a blood clot should start acupuncture treatment as soon as possible for their recovery.
From Acupuncture in Stroke Treatment, by Russ Erickson, MD:
Does acupuncture really work to help stroke victims improve? Many studies involving thousands of patients have been published in China and Japan, and 2 of 3 studies from Scandinavia, demonstrated significant help. These studies indicate that patients get well faster, perform better in self-care, require less nursing and rehabilitation therapy, and use less healthcare dollars. […]
Acupuncture is a safe therapy, and my experience has taught that this is especially true when helping stroke victims. Even discomfort is generally minimal. If one compares the possible positive help to be obtained with the risks associated with acupuncture, my contention is that acupuncture is worthy to attempt for stroke therapy.
“German acupuncture without needles”
BCR Therapie is a German-patented technology long used by professional athletes for pain management and physical therapy. It works to enhance micro electric currents within the body, enhancing ATP or Adenosine triphosphate, which is used by cells in our bodies to transport chemical energy for metabolism. BCR Therapie can be applied to specific areas, but the micro electricity flows in the all parts of the body to combat inflammation and improve cellular metabolism and regeneration.
BCR Therapie technology comes with programs on the devices that administer specific programs on patients for the treatment of different ailments. From BCR Therapie:
There is a specific program for stimulating nerve cells in the brain. This is believed to help dementia and Parkinson’s patients. The same therapy is also a great help against insomnia and stress.
Stroke patients can use the same program to stimulate nerve cells in the brain as well as whole body stimulation for quicker recovery from paralysis or other physical disabilities. There are also special programs for improving muscle movements of the throat and mouth area to improve speech and swallowing.
Electrical energy already naturally flows through our body’s cells. When a cell is injured, diseased, or toxic, its electricity conductivity and ATP is affected. BCR Therapie works to return to normal the conductivity of damaged/old cells in the human body, sending corrective micro currents until the injured area is normalized electrically, allowing blood and nutrients to flow back into the injured, diseased, or toxic area instead of bypassing. This accelerates the body’s ability to heal itself. (More on how microcurrent therapy works.)
Medi Therapie Can Help
Our therapy centre near Balestier Road in Singapore offers consultation and BCR therapie treatments. Call 6883-2345 or use our contact form.
More information and resources about BCR Therapie:
- BCR (biological cell regeneration therapy)
- German BCR-Therapie available in Malaysia
- And now, Acupuncture without Needles