NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - We’re now learning more about how COVID-19 impacts the brain, and evidence suggests the infection may increase the risk of stroke, and more people are at risk.

“It’s not a classic situation of stroke. We’re actually seeing young people who don’t have the traditional risk factors for stroke like high blood pressure, or other problems,” said Dr. Shazam Hussain from the Cleveland Clinic. “These are young, healthy people, who are coming in with big, big strokes.”

Regardless of age or COVID-19, doctors say stroke symptoms should never be ignored.

Here are some of the things to watch for:

-          Trouble with Balance.

-          Vision problems.

-          Drooping in the face.

-          Trouble speaking.

If you’re experiencing those symptoms, call 911.

“We do have very effective therapies for stroke, but they are time limited,” Dr. Hussain said. “There’s a clot buster medication called TPA, which we can give within four and a half hours. There are procedures that we can do to remove clots out of blood vessels, but again, we really want to be doing that within the first six to 24 hours after a stroke starts and the longer that it takes to get treatment, potentially the worse someone can do.”

More people are trying to avoid the hospital due to concerns over catching the virus, but hospitals are trying to minimize those risks.

But as you read, it’s important if you’re experiencing these symptoms, do not delay!

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