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"Surviving Stroke" Preview

JACKSON: Starting today and all next week, ideastream will be featuring a multimedia series on stroke. Someone in the U.S. has a stroke every forty seconds and someone dies of a stroke every three to four minutes, yet is often overshadowed by heart disease, and by cancer. Health reporter Anne Glausser is here in studio to tell us more about this special series we're calling "Surviving Stroke."

Good morning.

GLAUSSER: Hi Rick. So stroke--it's a leading cause of death; most people might guess that--but what strikes me maybe even more so about stroke, is that it's one of, if not the, leading cause of disability. And we're talking disability that can leave people paralyzed, can't talk, can't take care of themselves, completely dependent for the rest of their lives.

JACKSON: Who’s most likely to have a stroke?

GLAUSSER: Stroke is most common in people 65 years and older in part because of fatty plaque buildup in the arteries, but strokes have a variety of causes and nearly a quarter of all strokes occur in people under the age of 65 so it really can happen at any age. I spoke with a man in his 30s, pretty fit, but he was a smoker, and it was the smoking that doctors say caused his massive stroke. And he's a guy with a family-a young son enrolled in hockey camp, a teenage daughter, a wife. I was really quite struck when I met up with these folks, and heard firsthand how his stroke impacted all of their lives.

JACKSON: So will we be hearing the stories of stroke patients in Northeast Ohio next week?

GLAUSSER: Yes, we'll be hearing from him and others, on radio and the half hour television special. We'll hear about how advances in stroke care over the last couple decades have dramatically improved the outcomes for stroke survivors. We'll also hear about the ins and outs of the disease, how it works and how to reduce the odds of having a stroke, as well as about new therapies on the horizon for treating brain damage from stroke.

JACKSON: It sounds like it's life-altering for more than just the initial victim though.

GLAUSSER: It's true--stroke is really a disease that affects the whole family. As with any sort of condition that impacts your ability to care for yourself, when it strikes, it's a family matter, because it can involve lifelong rehab and care.

JACKSON: So what else can listeners expect to hear and see next week?

GLAUSSER: We'll take you inside a surgical suite at University Hospitals, as a neurosurgeon clips a brain aneurysm, which is ballooning in a blood vessel that if untreated can rupture and cause a stroke-so, how about we play just a short clip from that:

CLIP: So this is all the skull--but you'll see this is all we're going to take out. DRILL SOUND. This is just a high speed drill that allows us to go through the bone…

JACKSON: Ouch, that drill's a little tough on the ears.

GLAUSSER: Yeah but it's just amazing the way they can get into and maneuver around in the brain. So we'll hear and see more about that, and on The Sound of Ideas we'll also look at racial disparities in stroke and how this is problem in northern Ohio; and partnering with the Cleveland Clinic, we'll broadcast a radio drama called Wings, which is the story of a former aviation daredevil recovering from a stroke; we’ll have some “web exclusives” about how stroke strikes kids and the connection of pregnancy and stroke. And our partners, the Plain Dealer, WKYC-TV, Channel 3, and NetWellness will also have special coverage on “Surviving Stroke” next week.

JACKSON: Thanks Anne. You can find a full list of what’s coming in print, on radio, online and on TV at, health.ideastream.org.

anne.glausser@ideastream.org | 216-916-6129