Test Your Stroke IQ

STONY BROOK, New York Filippo Lombardi grew up working hard. He was a father of eight and a farmer in a small Italian town.

But what the family patriarch learned in that life helped him build a restaurant in his new life in New York.

The cooking, the books, the reservations, the recipes all are a family affair.

"It really has kept us all very close. It really is the key," Filomena Lombardi, Filippo's daughter, tells Ivanhoe.

It didn't take long for this close-knit family to notice something was wrong.

"We noticed some slight differences in the way he was walking and the way he was moving," Filomena explains.

Filippo's carotid artery was closing. How much do you know about stroke?

True or false: the best sign of stroke is paralysis?

"It cannot necessarily just involve motor weakness, but it can also involve numbness, seizures," Henry Woo, M.D., a neurosurgeon at Stony Brook University Medical Center in New York said.

The most common stroke symptoms are weakness, vision problems, sudden difficulty speaking, unexplained dizziness, unsteadiness or loss of balance.

True or false: smoking will not affect my chances of having a stroke. Tobacco smoke actually doubles your chances of having a stroke.

One more: if stroke symptoms pass, you do not need to seek treatment. The truth is sometimes people will have symptoms that disappear within a few minutes. One-third of people who have a mini stroke eventually will have a stroke.

Today, Filippo is back in the kitchen. And back with his family where he belongs.

Here's another question for you: does age matter when it comes to stroke? The answer is yes. The risk of having a stroke more than doubles each decade after the age of 55. One thing to remember: if you catch it early enough, damage from stroke can likely be reversed.

Donna Pignataro
Assistant to Dr. Henry Woo
Stony Brook University Medical Center
Stony Brook, NY
(631) 444-9137

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