It is estimated that every year more than 10 million people in the world have a stroke, and more than 6 million of the victims die. Stroke victims are getting younger, and the global burden of stroke is increasing. The average lifetime cost of a stroke patient has been estimated to between 55 and 69 thousand dollars, while the annual cost of stroke has been estimated to 64 billion Euros in Europe and to 34 billion dollars in the US.
Early detection and diagnosis of stroke will shorten the time to relevant treatment, reduce brain damage and subsequent dysfunction for the patients and thereby reducing the cost for society.
Stroke is a local brain injury caused by hypoxia and cell death due to reduced blood supply to an area of the brain. This can lead to physical functional impairments (such as paralysis), cognitive impairments (such as language disorders and memory disorders) and psychiatric conditions (such as depression). Stroke is often a consequence of an underlying chronic vascular disease that leads to blood vessels in the brain being occluded by a blood clot or breaking leading to hemorrhage in the brain.