Persons who suffer stroke and report to the hospital within three hours can have the attack reversed.

According to the Deputy Programme Manager for Non-Communicable Diseases Control Programme, Dr Afua Commey, the period known as ‘golden hour’ provided stroke specialists the opportunity to give care and medication that works the magic.

“The ‘golden hour’ after symptoms strike is vital for people to recognise warning signs and get the victim to the hospital for treatment,” she said

She explained that stroke victims must get clot-busting drugs within three hours to stand the best chance of a full recovery.

She also raised concern about the increasing number of young people suffering stroke as a result of lifestyle choices including excessive alcohol intake, smoking and stress.

“A couple of years back, if somebody has hypertension, they are over 70 years. It was the old grandparents who usually come down with stroke. Now you have 35-year-olds, 29 years olds getting stroke.

“The number of people under 40 coming down with stroke is much worse than 10 to 15 years ago. Young people in their 20s are coming down with stroke.

“Before you get stroke, you would have hypertension for a number of years. It means these people got hypertension very early, nothing was down and they went on to develop the stroke,” she said.

Stroke is a “brain attack” cutting off vital supplies of blood and oxygen to the brain. A stroke happens when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off. Over 80 per cent of strokes happen because of a blockage in an artery.

A cerebral thrombosis – when a blood clot forms in the main artery leading to the brain or a cerebral embolism – when a blood clot, or sometimes a piece of fatty debris from another part of the body is carried in the bloodstream to the brain.

A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain breaks leaking blood into or around the brain. Hemorrhagic strokes account for about 15% of all strokes, yet are responsible for more than 30% of all stroke deaths.

Intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH) is the most common type of hemorrhagic stroke. It occurs when a blood vessel inside the brain ruptures and leaks blood into surrounding brain tissue.

While an ICH causes blood to leak into the brain itself, a subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) occurs when blood spills into the space surrounding the brain.