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BacĀ 2011 - D Series

According to Dr Emmanuel, stroke is a type of vascular disease affecting thearteries leading to and within the brain. It occurs when blood that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts. When this happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood and oxygen it needs and so starts to die.

The brain is an extremely complex organ that controls millions of bodily functions. It allows us to speak, move, feel, love, drink and most importantly, think. Certain parts of the brain are in charge of executing different functions like vision, memory and speech. When a stroke occurs, blood flow is interrupted to one or more parts of the brain, causing the parts of the body that brain controls to break down.

The effects of a stroke depend on the location of the destruction and the extent of the brain tissue affected. Sometimes strokes can end up with rather mild ramifications but, certain cases of stroke can be enormously devastating. Paralysis, severe vision problems, memory loss, speech and language problems and changes in behavioral style are some of the effects of stroke.

Every 45 seconds, someone in America has a stroke and every three minutes, someone dies from one. Stroke is the third cause of death in America, claiming more than 700,000 lives each year.

While most of the frequently cited risk factors associated with stroke are high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, obesity, physical inactivity and high cholesterol, scientists are discovering that germs may also play a crucial role, particularly bacteria operating in the mouth. Various research projects have used findings to connect pathogenic mouth bacteria to the occurrence of stroke in individuals.

Adapted from Daily Sun. December 30, 2008.

Guided commentary

1) In your own words define a stroke according to the text. (2 points)
2) Relying on the text explain the importance of the brain in our body. (3 points)
3) Basing on the text, what are possible causes and consequences of stroke? (4 points)
4) What shows in the text that stroke is a major health issue and who is likely to have it? (5 points)
5) According to you, what measures should be taken to reduce the risks of stroke among people in your country? (6 points)

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