A national survey by Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center suggests that younger people may be unaware of stroke symptoms, and may underestimate their urgency if they occur.

In the survey, researchers asked more than 1,000 people nationwide what they would be likely to do during the first 3 hours of experiencing a stroke.

Among those under age 45, only about one in three said they would be very likely to go to the hospital.

However, 73% of the respondents under age 45 replied that they would put off going to the hospital and would instead wait to see if they felt better, thereby missing the “golden window” when medical care could do the most good to restore blood flow to the brain and minimize or reverse damage from the stroke.

“Timely treatment for stroke is probably more important than for almost any other medical problem there is,” says David Liebeskind, MD, professor of neurology, Director of Outpatient Stroke and Neurovascular Programs and Director of the Neurovascular Imaging Research Core at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, in a media release.

“There is a very limited window in which to start treatment because the brain is very sensitive to a lack of blood flow or to bleeding, and the longer patients wait, the more devastating the consequences,” he adds in the release from Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.

Liebeskind adds that it’s on the order of minutes or hours when someone experiencing stroke symptoms has to seek medical attention.

“There simply is no time to wait. It’s a message that we clearly need to get to younger people more effectively,” he states.

[Source(s): Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Science Daily]