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Preventing Reoccurring Strokes: May 18, 2011

Studies show that people who have had one stroke have significantly higher risk of having a repeat attack. This prompted doctors to create a new program aimed at preventing recurring strokes.

A stroke is an interruption of blood supply to the brain. If it lasts longer than a few seconds, and the brain can't get blood and oxygen then permanent damage results.

"In our age and population it's actually very, very common." says Dr. Nima Mowzoon. "The risk factor is being hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, high cholesterol, obesity, diabetes and then smoking."

Phylis Rollins had three massive strokes in 10 days. She was told by her doctor it was linked to her smoking. "They found a block in my brain and it was 89% nicotine," she says.

Lee Memorial Hospital has put together an awareness campaign called 'Lee PREVENT' to minimize a patient's chance of having a future stroke. "I think most commonly what they do wrong is they don't follow up with the doctors," says Dr. Mowzoon.

Key elements of Lee PREVENT are getting patients to quit smoking, along with taking their medications, keeping up with regular doctor checkups and a healthy diet and exercise.

The effort is to prevent strokes and make sure nobody falls through the cracks.

Doctors use these high-tech sleep profiles to pinpoint a patient's problem. "You make the diagnosis, you get started on the treatment and it's like your newborn. You get a good nights sleep" Khan says. For sleep specialist, it's all in a night's work.