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The surprising number of young stroke victims

YourHealthRadio.orgLester Leung, MD, is a neurologist and the director of the Stroke and Young Adults Program at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, MA.
February 24, 2017 

Lester Leung, MD, neurologist and director of the Stroke and Young Adults Program at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, was interviewed on Your Health Radio this February about the shocking number of young stroke victims. Dr. Leung spoke to the importance of recognizing common stroke symptoms, differences of risk factors in young adults, and the experiences of his own patients at Tufts MC. 

Strokes at a Young Age

In general, many people do not consider young adults at risk for strokes. Stroke is related to injuries to part of the nervous system such as the brain, the eyes, or the spinal cord. Young adults may not know what to expect when experiencing a stroke, or even that they are having a stroke. Dr. Leung estimates that young adults represent a quarter to a third of all stroke victims. 

Symptoms

Some common symptoms of stroke include:

  • Difficulty communicating and speech issues
  • Loss of vision (generally in one eye)
  • Weak on one side of the face or body or both
  • Difficulty with coordination
  • Loss of sensation 

Stroke and Young Adults Program

The Stroke and Young Adults Program at Tufts Medical Center aims to build a new model of care for young adults with strokes. Dr. Leung hopes that the Stroke and Young Adults Program will be able to build a “playbook” for other health care providers around the country to help build similar programs.