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Peder Anderson, MD
What is a stroke, what are the warning signs, and how can I reduce my risk?
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Peder Anderson, MD answered:
Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States and is the most common cause of adult disability. A stroke occurs when either a blood clot blocks an artery in the brain, or an artery in the brain breaks. This interrupts blood flow to a particular area of the brain causing brain cells to die. Abilities controlled by that area of the brain—such as movement, memory, and speech—can be lost. Sometimes this loss is permanent, while in some cases, some or all of the deficit may be recovered.

Stroke symptoms can include sudden numbness or weakness of the face, an arm or a leg—usually occurring on just one side of the body. A person having a stroke may have a sudden, severe headache, seem confused, have trouble speaking or seeing clearly, or have difficulty with balance. Any of these symptoms should warrant urgent medical evaluation, since earlier treatment for a stroke often results in a better prognosis.

Some risk factors for stroke are not changeable, such as age and family history. Other risk factors can be changed. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and cigarette smoking all significantly increase the risk of having a stroke. Physical inactivity and being overweight not only increase the chances of having high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes, but also they increase the risk of having a stroke in and of themselves. The best strategy to decrease your chances of having a stroke is to stay active, maintain a healthy weight, avoid smoking, and see your doctor annually.
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Getting books from the doctor is a routine part of regular pediatric checkups at Bozeman Deaconess Family Medicine & Pediatrics. At every regular checkup, children...

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WHAT IS A STROKE, WHAT ARE THE WARNING SIGNS, AND HOW CAN I REDUCE MY RISK?
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Peder Anderson, MD
PEDER ANDERSON, MD ANSWERED:
Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States and is the most common cause of adult disability. A stroke occurs when either a blood clot blocks an artery in the brain, or an artery in the brain breaks. This interrupts blood flow to a particular area of the brain causing brain cells to die. Abilities controlled by that area of the brain—such as movement, memory, and speech—can be lost. Sometimes this loss is permanent, while in some cases, some or all of...
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WHY DO I FEEL SO GLOOMY IN WINTER, AND WHAT CAN I DO?
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Connie Hahn, DO
CONNIE HAHN, DO ANSWERED:
An estimated 10% of the population in northern latitudes such as Montana suffers from SAD, or seasonal affect disorder. During childbearing years women outnumber men four to one, but after age 65 the condition affects both sexes equally. Biological causes include theories involving circadian rhythm, retinal sensitivity to light, and brain neurotransmitters such as serotonin. Physicians also consider patients’ vulnerability to stress and if they have a close relative with a history of depression. Medical diagnosis relies on the presence of two major depressive episodes over the...
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HOW DO PATIENTS BENEFIT FROM CARE IN A PATIENT-CENTERED MEDICAL HOME?
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Joseph Sofianek, MD
JOSEPH SOFIANEK, MD ANSWERED:
Patients in a Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) recognized practice receive care under a model that strengthens the provider-patient relationship by focusing on long-term, coordinated, team-based care. Patients are at the center of the provider-led team that takes collective responsibility for comprehensive health care. A medical home is intended to result in more personalized, coordinated, effective and efficient care. A medical home achieves these goals through providing high-level access to providers and team members by offering same day, evening and weekend appointments. The medical home also facilitates...
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AT WHAT AGE SHOULD MY TEENAGE DAUGHTERS RECEIVE THE MENINGITIS SHOT? THEY ARE CURRENTLY 14 AND 16, GO TO CAMPS AND ARE ACTIVE IN SPORTS?
- Mary
Todd Harris, DO
TODD HARRIS, DO ANSWERED:
The first dose is given at 11 or 12 years of age with a booster before entering college. If they are attending a boarding school, then a 5 year booster.
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