Newswise — (New York – April 27, 2015) – Stroke is a disease that affects the arteries leading to and within the brain. A stroke occurs when a clot blocks the blood supply to the brain (ischemic stroke) or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts (hemorrhagic stroke). Someone in the United States has a stroke every forty seconds; it is the fifth leading cause of death nationwide and second cause worldwide. Early detection and treatment of stroke are crucial because time lost is brain lost. Patients who arrive at the emergency room within three hours of their first symptoms tend to have better outcomes after a stroke than those who received delayed care.

“Today, thanks to early detection, aggressive treatment and new intervention therapies, more stroke patients than ever are returning to normal life with limited to no disability,” says Stanley Tuhrim, MD, Director, The Stroke Center, The Mount Sinai Hospital, “Despite these accomplishments, it is clear that there is still much more work to be done to reduce the burden of stroke in our community. The challenge remains to educate as many people as possible about stroke’s earliest warning signs and symptoms, so patients can get the immediate treatment they need.”

Facts About Stroke• Stroke kills almost 130,000 Americans each year. One American dies from stroke every four minutes.• Stroke is a leading cause of serious long-term disability.• Stroke risk increases with age, but can occur at any age. More than a third of people hospitalized for stroke are younger than 65.• Stroke affects women disproportionately. About 55,000 more women than men have a stroke each year. • Major risks for stroke include high blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking. About half of Americans have at least one of these three risk factors.• The risk of having a stroke varies with race and ethnicity. Risk of having a first stroke is nearly double for blacks than whites, and blacks are more likely to die from stroke than whites. Hispanics’ risk of stroke falls between that of whites and blacks.• About 87% of all strokes are ischemic strokes, when blood flow to the brain is blocked

Tips for How to Spot a Stroke

***Use BE FAST to remember the early signs of stroke***B – BALANCE. Is there a sudden loss of balance or coordination? To check, ask the person to walk in a straight line or touch their finger to their nose• E – EYES. Are there sudden vision changes? To check, ask if the person has double vision or cannot see out of one eye. • F – FACE DROOPING. Is there drooping or numbness on one side of the face? Is a person’s smile uneven?• A – ARM WEAKNESS. Look for weakness in one arm. Ask the person to raise both arms and check to see if one arm drifts downward.• S – SPEECH DIFFICULTY. Is speech slurred or otherwise difficult to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence such as “The sky is blue.” • T – TIME TO CALL 9-1-1. If any of the above symptoms are present, call 9-1-1 and get the person to a hospital immediately—even if the symptoms go away! Check the time so you can record when the symptoms first appeared.

Mount Sinai experts are available during May’s Stroke Awareness month to offer tips on early detection and treatment. Consented-patient stories are also available.

Experts Available for Interview

Dr. Stanley Tuhrim, Director, The Stroke Center at The Mount Sinai Hospital, Professor of Neurology, Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Dr. Stephan Mayer, Director of Neurocritical Care, The Mount Sinai Health System, Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Dr. Carolyn Brockington, Director, The Stroke Center, Mount Sinai Roosevelt and Mount Sinai St. Luke’s, Assistant Professor of Neurology, Icahn School of Medicine

Dr. Irene Boniece, Stroke Neurologist, Mount Sinai Beth Israel, Assistant Professor of Neurology, Icahn School of Medicine

Dr. Aaron Tansy, Director of the Stroke Program at Mount Sinai Queens, Assistant Professor of Neurology, Icahn School of Medicine

About the Stroke Center at The Mount Sinai Hospital:

The Mount Sinai Stroke Center, one of the first multidisciplinary stroke centers of its kind, was established in 1988 to develop new approaches to diagnosing and treating stroke. Under the leadership of Stanley Tuhrim, MD, the Center has assembled an outstanding team of medical experts who specialize in innovative research-based and clinical approaches to evaluating, treating and rehabilitating patients with cerebrovascular diseases.

The Mount Sinai Stroke Center is a New York State Department of Health-designated stroke center and the first Joint Commission-certified Comprehensive Stroke Center in New York City. The Center is also recognized as a leader in stroke research and treatment.

About the Mount Sinai Health System:

The Mount Sinai Health System is an integrated health system committed to providing distinguished care, conducting transformative research, and advancing biomedical education. Structured around seven hospital campuses and a single medical school, the Health System has an extensive ambulatory network and a range of inpatient and outpatient services—from community‐based facilities to tertiary and quaternary care.The System includes approximately 6,600 primary and specialty care physicians, 12‐minority‐owned free‐standing ambulatory surgery centers, over 45 ambulatory practices throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, and Long Island, as well as 31 affiliated community health centers. Physicians are affiliated with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, which is ranked among the top 20 medical schools both in National Institutes of Health funding and by U.S. News & World Report.

For more information, visit, or find Mount Sinai on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

# # #