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 the collective name for the condition with sudden symptoms that occur when part of the brain’s nerve tissue is affected by inhibited oxygen supply in the affected area. Oxygen deficiency can occur as a result of a blood clot in some blood vessel – ischemic stroke. Oxygen deficiency can also be a consequence of a brain hemorrhage, that is, a rupture in some vessel inside the brain – hemorrhagic stroke, or on the surface of the brain – subarachnoid hemorrhage. This can lead to physical disabilities (such as paralysis), cognitive disabilities (such as language and memory disorders) and psychiatric conditions (such as depression).